Demonstration over dementia service cuts

The Health and Social Care Partnership - which is the amalgamation of Argll and Bute social care and NHS services - proposes to provide support for those with dementia at home rather than from Thomson Court Day Centre (pictured above).
The Health and Social Care Partnership - which is the amalgamation of Argll and Bute social care and NHS services - proposes to provide support for those with dementia at home rather than from Thomson Court Day Centre (pictured above).

GMB Scotland members delivering dementia care on Bute will demonstrate tomorrow (Wednesday, July 13), alongside members of the island community, against the decision by Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) to close the day centre service.

Plans to close the service, which currently operates from Thomson Court Day Centre, will result in the loss of one senior care worker and two social care workers who provide support for up to sixty service users, seven days a week through respite at the centre and on home visits.

As we reported last week, the HSCP will fill the void left by the closure with befriender visits which will see dementia sufferers receive their care at home only.

The Buteman understands that service users and their families are due to be informed of the proposals at a meeting tomorrow.

HSCP locality and project managers have told staff the cuts will be subject to a six month consultation but a time frame for the start of this process has yet to be determined.

GMB Scotland Organiser Brian Johnstone said: “There has been no meaningful consultation and engagement from the HSCP with the workers, the service users and with the wider community and that’s totally unacceptable.

“These cuts may seem negligible but our members make a significant contribution every day to the quality of life for some of the most vulnerable people in the local community.

“We want to highlight the short-sighted nature of this decision but we also want to ensure the best welfare standards possible for the local service users and their families – that won’t happen if the service user is increasingly isolated at home.

“It’s a stark reminder once again in this time of austerity and political uncertainty that the real challenges in our local communities haven’t gone away and we are urging the HSCP to think again about the impact of these cuts and to preserve these vital jobs.”

The demonstration is due to take place at 11.30am tomorrow outside Thomson Court.

* A petition has been set up in hopes of reversing the proposals, and is available to view by clicking here.