Park House Closure An Option, Councillors to Be Told
The Council could close Scilly’s only residential care home, Park House, and send residents with the greatest need to the mainland.
Those are some of the options being put forward to councillors at Tuesday’s Community Services meeting.
A report being presented by Senior Adult Social Care Manager Gareth Peters will outline how Park House is under significant financial pressure due to problems recruiting suitable staff.
The Local Authority is expected to have to subsidise the facility by around £290,000 this financial year.
And Mr Peters writes that the current national policy is to provide more care for people in their own homes.
Options being put forward to members include maintaining the status quo, with measures put in place to reduce costs as well as developing a new dementia facility at the hospital.
But the most controversial is likely to be an option to increase the provision of community-based care, but send islanders to mainland care homes if they can no longer remain at home safely.
In his report, Mr Peters acknowledges that there is, “a risk of negative media representation and reputational damage resulting from any proposal ‘to close Park House’; however, this is inevitably one of the options that will need to be considered alongside other alternatives.”
He also says it’s likely to receive, “considerable challenge from the local community.”
He’s recommending putting in place a communications strategy, to engage and consult with residents, their families, the wider public and stakeholders.
Councillors won’t be asked to make a decision on the future of Park House at Tuesday’s meeting, although they will be asked to put in place a package of measures to address the financial problems at the care home.
The proposals include a 70% increase in weekly fees for self-funded residents from the current £534 to £908, or from £644 to £1095 for dementia patients.
The home will also try to reduce costs by sending residents with the highest needs to the mainland. That will allow a reduction in staffing levels.
The changes could save almost £100,000 a year, says the report.
Councillors will discuss the recommendations at the Community Services Committee meeting on Tuesday 16th February. It starts at 9.30am in the Old Wesleyan Chapel and the public are welcome to attend.