Radical New Plans For Park House Outlined

Park House

Park House

Park House cannot continue in its current form warns the Community Services Chairman Richard McCarthy.

And dementia care could be provided at St Mary’s hospital in the future.

That was the radical plan to overhaul health and social care services in Scilly, put forward to members at last week’s committee meeting.

Richard told members that there were some “real issues” over the cost of running the facility.

He said Park House was no longer just a residential home, but was increasingly having to bring in expensive agency staff to deal with larger numbers of dementia patients.

Park House has already overspent by £165,000 this year, and Senior Officer Aisling Hick said that was expected to rise even further by next March.

Aisling said there had been increases of around £100,000 in the budget for the facility every year.

And she said the fees being charged by residents, currently £534 or £644 for those with dementia, don’t reflect the two staff members required to care for each patient.

They’re having to look at alternative ways of providing the service, she said.

Members were presented with proposals to redevelop the St Mary’s hospital site to provide a high needs dementia and nursing facility, run in partnership with the NHS.

Staff will be visiting a similar unit in the Channel Islands to see if the idea could work in Scilly.

The report also said residential care would be relocated from the existing building opposite The Park to a new, bespoke facility.

And the services could be privatised, with a care provider being brought in to deliver all residential, nursing and domiciliary care.

But Cllr Marian Bennett felt that the Council was retracing old territory. She said they had discussed this before, but funding was always an issue.

And Cllr Gordon Bilsborough criticised the “vague” finance numbers in the report.

Aisling felt the scheme could save money overall.

She said the Council is currently subsidising residential care for islanders, when no other Local Authority in the country is doing the same.

“They expect the cost to come back through client contributions,” she said and felt the Council’s subsidy would be reduced in the future.

Councillors agreed to set up a project team to develop the proposals.

5 Responses to Radical New Plans For Park House Outlined

  1. Jenny October 21, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    It seems that many residents have loss trust in our senior Council Officers, in so-much that we check the facts surrounding statements made to our Councillors. Park House does not stand alone is using community financial resources. All Local Authorities are funding increasing levels of care. A project team which includes members of the public would be a start into analyzing the provision of care within the Islands. This is not a new idea; a project group already exists to look at the water and sewerage infrastructure on the Islands. Makes sense for a care for the future project group to be set up on similar lines, with contributions from a range of local people. These groups then feed back to Councillors to provide the information for them to make important decisions about the Islands.

  2. Public Domain October 21, 2015 at 11:52 am

    I’m not sure where Aisling gets her figures from, as a flick back through previous finance papers and last week’s report shows for Park House:

    Budget 13/14 – £10k net cost
    Budget 14/15 – £61k net cost – up just £51k, and which ended the year with an actual net cost of just £22k.
    Budget 15/16 – £74k net INCOME a DECREASE in costs of £135k

    According to the manager’s profile, the budget is not affected by seasonal variations, so a straight extrapolation of the 5 months presented, to the full 12 months indicates a net cost prediction of £322k, which is nearly £400k different to the £74k net surplus which was budgeted for. A HUGE swing.

    And, although the enhanced pay and agency staff budgets may be over spent, £113k of the £165k (~70%) is due to income.

    With income running at £113k less than expected at the 5 month mark, assuming it is correct (dare we?), that makes it on target to be £300k less by the year end.

    The report helpfully sees fit to draw attention to the £6k over spend on cleaning products but nothing at all is said about the £113k loss of income. Hmmmm.

  3. High Lanes Drifter October 21, 2015 at 7:34 am

    Dear God,
    Here we go again, the overspend will be a quarter of a million pounds by March!
    That’s another fine mess then, never mind just add it to the list.

  4. Peter October 20, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    The Care Act of 2014 hasn’t really come fully into operation yet. When it does, along with the epidemic of dementia which is about to hit us all, plus the ever increasing demands of CQC, Scilly Council, being the unfit for purpose shambles that it is, is going to be wondering what has hit it. The implications for council tax funded services are massive. No doubt the council’s head in the sand approach will continue.

  5. Jenny October 20, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    In England there are 1,000 Local Authority run care homes, like Park House. Including homes in Leicester, Worcestershire, Wiltshire, Staffordshire, Bury, Surrey and Dudley. The Government have issued guidelines on the charges made by Local Authority run care homes and these homes are subsidized by community tax and local tax revenue grants. Long term care when not provided by the National Health is means tested and people over the age of eighteen who receive care contribute to the cost. Any additional costs are met by the Local Authority. Same in all areas of England. Scotland have a different system.