Councillor Calls For More Park House Bed Spaces

Park House

Park House

A St Mary’s councillor says there should be more bed spaces in Park House to meet growing demand from an ageing population in Scilly.

Cllr Gordon Bilsborough told members of last week’s Community Services Committee that at some stage, the islands only full-time residential care facility will be full and that means islanders may have to go to the mainland.

He says that will leave some people “completely bereft.”

Gordon was commenting on the department’s Service Improvement Plan, which outlines the areas they’ll be focussing on during the next year.

He said he couldn’t see anything in that report about provision at Park house.

But the officer in charge of health-related matters, Aisling Hick, says all of their studies show that the Council is providing the right number of beds for the size of the population on the islands.

She says residential care is expensive and has poor outcomes. More people want to stay in their own homes, she said, and the Council is unlikely to get much government funding in the future if they stick to the old model.

And Aisling says a recent assessment of people who went into Park House three years ago shows that home care would have been more appropriate for many of them.

She says nobody has been sent to the mainland for long-term care “in a long while,” although people have to accept that it could be appropriate in individual cases.

Head of Adult Social Care Gareth Peters, who is responsible for Park House, says they’re currently supporting people who would normally be moved to a nursing home on the mainland.

They’re having to increase staff to provide this, he says.

Gareth says the Council is talking to NHS to see how that type of care can be supported in the future.