100 people on Mull show support for Glen Iosal
AROUND 100 people on Tobermory gathered at a care home to protest against cuts to its warden provision.
The concerned islanders rallied outside Glen Iosal as senior managers from Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) and the Trust Housing Association met residents living in the sheltered housing complex and their families.
The HSCP is looking to withdraw funding from the Trust Housing Association, the organisation that runs the care home. This will result in warden support at the 25-flat complex being cut from 35 hours to 25.
A petition asking for the decision to be reversed has been signed by 780 people. It states that social work does not have the staff to pick up the shortfall.
‘The main point seems to be that this does not seem like a consultation – it feels like a done deal,’ said Katharine Elwis, who started the petition.
‘ We feel we are not being consulted, we are being told, and no matter what we say about the impact of the decision, it is not going to change their mind.
‘We wish an impact assessment had been done before the decision was made and this should have been done by the board.
‘A lot of the elderly people were assuming they could come here when independent living gets too much for them.
‘Anxiety levels have gone up and residents here are already vulnerable and the stress they have been put under is unforgivable. It’s been handled badly, considering people are vulnerable here. The support from the community has shown the residents they are not alone and everyone cares about Glen Iosal.’
Shaun Davidson, the HSCP’s local area manager on Mull, said: ‘The idea is to bring the Trust Housing Association services, the last of the warden-type old housing support service contracts, in line with the rest of sheltered housing provision in Argyll and Bute.
‘However, while everyone is trying hard to make the best use of reducing budgets and to identify solutions, we are, of course, aware that every complex is unique.
‘So before we make any chang- es, we will conduct a full consultation process to ensure that all the residents’ individual needs and requirements are met.
‘If any resident feels that they need personal care, we will refer them to a social care worker and an assessment will be carried out to see if they meet the criteria to access our care at home services.’
Councillor for Oban South and the Isles Mary Jean-Devon said: ‘I am worried. We have been trying for five or six years to get home carers on Mull. People have had to be moved off the island. One size does not fit all.’
Councillor Devon said it would cost more money to pay additional carers than it would to keep the wardens’ hours as they are.
She added: ‘We have to fight it. I would like the status quo to remain. If not, people won’t have the peace of mind that they have now – that’s someone to stroke their hand and wait with them while the ambulance comes.’
A 75-year- old Glen Iosal resident, who asked not to be named, said: ‘I am absolutely anxious, the same as everyone else here.
‘It is a ridiculous situation. We have tried to explain to all the powers-that-be that we are not going to save money here, we already have the perfect set up as an island.’
Dozens of people protest against cuts in wardens’ hours. One, left, carried a sign that reads: ‘Keep Glen Iosal as caring supported living.’