Argyll and Bute politicians unite over IJB row

Brendan O'Hara MP, Michael Russell MSP, and Argyll and Bute Council Leader Dick Walsh have written to Shona Robison to request a meeting over the futures of Struan Lodge and Thomson Court day centre.
Brendan O'Hara MP, Michael Russell MSP, and Argyll and Bute Council Leader Dick Walsh have written to Shona Robison to request a meeting over the futures of Struan Lodge and Thomson Court day centre.

Argyll and Bute's MP, MSP and Council Leader have written to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport to request a meeting over the future of Thomson Court day centre in Rothesay and Struan Lodge in Dunoon.

Brendan O'Hara MP, Michael Russell MSP, and Councillor Dick Walsh, in a letter to Shona Robison, said: "Both of these facilities have strong local support and a strong public campaign has been mounted focused primarily on the failure of the IJB [Integrated Joint Board] to consult on these changes before deciding upon them though there are also concerns about the evidence base of the decisions and the amount of savings claimed to be achievable."

The three signatories have also written to the chair of the IJB, Councillor Kieran Green, to request that the board "take immediate steps to suspend the decisions to cease residential occupation of Struan Lodge and close the dementia day care facility at Thomson Court" until a meeting between all parties, including the IJB and Ms Robison, can take place.

In a letter to Cllr Green, Messrs O'Hara, Russell and Walsh, state: "You are aware of the very strong local view in Cowal and Bute that these decisions have been taken without proper consultation and in addition the evidence that the withdrawal of the Struan Lodge facility will have consequences that make finding an appropriate care place for elderly people more difficult."

Cllr Walsh added: "At the recent public meeting in Dunoon about health and social care integrated services, the community made their views about Struan Lodge in Dunoon and Thomson Court in Bute very clear. Following that meeting I wrote to Michael Russell MSP seeking his support in finding a solution which sustains these valued public services.

"I am glad that, along with Brendan O’Hara MP, we have been able to join together in writing to the IJB Chair asking that further consideration is given to suspending the decisions to close these two much-loved facilities.

"It is very important to be able to come together like this on behalf of the communities we have all been elected to serve, and I am thankful for the support of both Mr Russell and Mr O’Hara in this crucial matter."