Radical New Plans For Park House Outlined
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.