Proposals to close the current dementia service offered at Thomson Court Day Centre will be discussed at next week’s meeting of Bute and Cowal Area Committee.
The meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, August 2 at 9.30am in Eaglesham House and is open for members of the public to attend, will discuss the plans which would see current service users offered a ‘befrienders-style’ care package in their homes instead.
Struan Lodge in Dunoon - which currently operates as a residential facility but will become a care home should the proposals go ahead - is also included on the committee’s agenda.
In a letter addressed to Bute councillor Robert Macintyre, convener of the area committe, Michael Russell (MSP for Argyll and Bute) said: “I am very concerned about the proposals for both Thompson Court and Struan Lodge.
“It is obvious that there is a great deal of community opposition to closure and in addition a great deal of anger about the way this has been handled by the new Integrated Partnership which appears to have learnt nothing from the fiasco over Struan Lodge in 2013.
“As the Integrated Partnership brings together the Health Board and Argyll and Bute Council councillors must be able to comment on such a matter and to seek a change in the decision , as I hope you now will.
“Once again an attempt is being made to close valued community facilities which provide much needed assistance to fragile and vulnerable individuals without open debate and honest community consultation. These plans should have been placed before the community in a genuine consultation exercise and the reasons for them fully and clearly explained. Instead those responsible are trotting out the same old excuses about over capacity whilst those in the know who work or support the facilities allege that the figures and assumptions are wrong.
“I would urge the area committee to oppose the closures and ask those in the integrated partnership to initiate a comprehensive consultation, free of the highly technical and over complex language and baffling lists of options that is the hallmark of the local health service when it seeks to get views.
“Only after that process and the indication of community agreement with its outcomes should any changes be made. It is essential that the nature and detail of any such changes should be decided by the consultation, not pre-ordained by officials.”
To view the meeting’s agenda, click here.