As predicted the Housing and Social Work committee went for the reprieve and review option: 'nothing ruled in, nothing ruled out.' It will all be down to our local members being kept informed throughout the process of the review. The Gurn was there and made notes, to find out what Liz, Graham and Sandy said please tune in again this evening.
PS. Just chance or humour that placed MacLean Court as item 13 on the Agenda!
UPDATE: the discussion on item 13
Sandy and Graham spoke briefly but concisely welcoming the proposal for the review and calling for full consultation and research throughout the community on Day Care provision in Nairn. Their contributions were short but it was obvious that they had a desire to reflect the will of the community as best they could.
Liz made quite a long speech, she started:
' A carer was going to accompany me here today but unfortunately her mother has taken very ill and GP’s wanted to put her in hospital so she was unable to attend. She said she and her sister feel the stress of the proposal to close McLean Court Day Care has affected her mother’s health as it’s all her mother speaks about. The woman in question was one of the founder members of Nairn Senior Citizens Lunch Club 24 years ago, understands the service inside out and is most comfortable with MacLean Court
The support by the people of Nairn for this service is incredible and people were queuing up to sign the petition which stands at over 1500 plus letters of support, numerous e-mails and 40 signatures on an on-line petition. These include support from both community councils.
The GPs at Lodgehill have expressed the view that closing McLean Court would be atrocious and scandalous. One carer had a GP and consultant referral to McLean Court that has not been attended to since April last year
Nairn Community Care Forum chairperson personally supports the retention of the day care, and would be delighted for the forum to be involved in the consultation process
The Provost then made specific points.
1.1 The service is underused – we all know Nairn has the highest demographic percentage of aging population in the Highlands and the only way it is underused is by lack or referrals. Since the threatened closure I’ve referred 3 people to Brain Robertson who would benefit from this service and there are many more who receive homecare and are then left to sit in their homes until the next home care visit who would benefit.
There has been no consideration in this report about the unmet or unidentified needs in our community
1.2 Considering the client group and varying need – for a service to be effective it has to specify the client group. I would expect the people with higher levels of need to be directed to the Manor. People with moderate levels who attend McLean Court and are comfortable and satisfied with the service should continue at McLean Court and if the Service is to be for clients with lower level of needs it may not be necessary for improved washing facilities. If however it is felt that personal care is required then SW Capital programme is under spent by £143K and this could be utilised to make any necessary improvements to the facility.
1.6 The statement that tenants at McLean Court would like the day service removed is untrue. I spoke to all tenants on Friday and they all supported the retention of the day care.
Comments included: didn’t believe it for a minute, never heard of any complaints in 12 years, couldn’t think of a better place to put it, 100% for it, we get included in activities like Christmas Carols
2.3 goes on to explain how Grigor House would like to extend its day care from 3 to 5 days per week is this transferring more council services into the private sector?
We all know that the day care at Grigor house is for high dependency clients so the majority of clients at McLean Court day care could not access this service neither could they access the Alzheimer day care at the hospital as it is specifically for people with Alzheimer’s and would be highly unsuitable. As the founder member of the lunch club knows she couldn’t return there it is also not a viable option for the day care clients.
Under Conclusions – we know McLean Court day care is underused but it is through lack of Social Work accepting new clients not through lack of referral.
The worst statement in the whole report is in Para 3.2 ‘It is therefore proposed to defer consideration of the decision to cease provision of the service from McLean Court’ Is there no opportunity here to develop or enhance the service, perhaps be more specific about the client group and make suitable provision.
If as suggested in the report under 3.3 it is up to Ward members to agree a solution then the only option I would support is the retention, full utilisation and upgrading of the day care provision to meet current standards
McLean Court day care provides social care, respite provision and a life line to those who use it and hope to access it.
I move that instead of looking at ways to close it we consider its development and upgrading.'
There was also support from John Finnie, leader of the SNP group on the council. John has shown a lot of interest in MacLean Court and appeared in Nairn on at least two to collect signatures for the petition.
The Chair wound it up – ‘ Nothing ruled in – nothing ruled out she said.’ So there it is Gurnites, let's keep an eye on this review!