Argyll and Bute MSP, Michael Russell, has welcomed news of the Integration Joint Board’s decision to pause redesign works affecting facilities in Rothesay and Dunoon for six months.
At a special meeting of the IJB in Kilmory, Lochgilphead, on Wednesday, November 2, the board agreed to pause works at Rothesay’s Thomson Court and Dunoon’s Struan Lodge for a period of six months to allow for engagement with service users and their families, staff consultation, and engagement with the wider community.
Speaking yesterday of the board’s decision, Chair of the IJB Councillor Kieron Green, said: “The Integration Joint Board has today taken the welcome decision to pause the service redesign work in Struan Lodge and Thomson Court. This will allow us to significantly improve on our engagement and involvement processes with the communities concerned.”
Mr Russell, in a letter to Cllr Green, said: “Now there needs to be a careful, open and transparent process of consultation, which is jargon-free and genuinely seeks to find out the facts and the views of those affected. I hope the IJB will bring that forward as quickly as it can and give plenty of time and opportunity for participation.
“Particular attention should be paid to the work of the Struan Lodge Group chaired by Max Barr, and to the views of families which would be severally affected by the closure of Thompson Court.
”I also hope that the current leadership of the IJB will resist the temptation to obfuscate and complicate these matters in order to gain bureaucratic advantage as has been, on occasion, the previous practice in the administration of health services in Argyll and Bute.”
Mr Russell added: “Finally the IJB might want to undertake an internal review of governance using this experience as an exemplar given that I received a number of vague responses to my inquiries about this matter in August and September which now also appear to have been, at the most generous interpretation, economical with the truth about the process and how it could be halted.”
>> You can read our report from the special meeting of the IJB by clicking here.