Plans To Merge Park House With St Mary’s Hospital Move A Step Closer

Park House

Park House

Plans to merge Park House with St Mary’s hospital have moved a step closer after councillors voted in favour of developing the scheme.

It follows an appraisal of the options for the care of elderly and vulnerable residents on the islands, produced by Five Square Solutions, a consultancy firm based in Plymouth.

The report was presented to councillors at Tuesday’s Full Council meeting.

Options ranged from keeping the existing arrangements for the care home, Park House, through to removing all residential care on the islands and accommodating elderly residents on the mainland.

The costs of providing residential care in Scilly have been increasing and last year, councillors were warned that the authority would have to subsidise Park House by almost £300,000.

Fees for residents were raised to more closely reflect the costs of providing the service.

But several councillors have voiced concern over any plans to send residents to the mainland for care.

Instead, councillors have now chosen to develop a model which could see Park House being sold off and new residential care facilities developed, either at the current St Mary’s hospital or a new, purpose-built facility near the current hospital and Health Centre.

That would have fifteen en-suite rooms with space to build a further five in the future.

Costs would range from around £2.2m up to £4.8m for the new build option. Officers say this would be paid for in part by the sale of the current Park House site for around £500,000 and the hospital for £1m.

Co-locating in a new building could also bring savings on running costs, they say.

Officers say domiciliary care would also be expanded across all the islands to ensure that elderly residents can remain in their own homes for as long as possible.

Cllr Christine Savill said she “did have hesitations” about the plans at one stage but added: “If we achieve this, it will be one of the biggest and most important things this council has ever achieved.”

At previous meetings, Cllr Gordon Bilsborough had been vociferous in his opposition to elderly residents being moved to the mainland, describing it as “a death sentence.”

But Cllr Bilsborough said the proposed plans to move to the hospital site, “should hopefully minimise the chance of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients being sent to the mainland against the will of their loved ones.”

Officers will now develop the plans and bring them back to the Council for approval.

4 Responses to Plans To Merge Park House With St Mary’s Hospital Move A Step Closer

  1. Ray Wornes October 3, 2016 at 5:53 am

    Having totally lost our Airport which just recently cost many millions to redevelop and our old Sec School worth many millions which is wastefully being scrapped are we now about to lose our Hospital and our Care Home also @ scrap value. If our new school cost £16m to build then what value are we about to give away Councillors? Is this value for money or are you just digging a deeper hole of debt? I’m sure there must be much better options than these. How much money have you wasted on advisors Councillors and who will be held responsible if it all goes horribly wrong once again and we lose millions in value? No one as usual. Perhaps you don’t know the difference in value between a working building and an empty one priced only at its scrap value. This is the con. Adapting buildings to other more profitable uses can save many millions and even create income. We need to hold on to everything we own and just adapt our buildings to other profitable uses but that takes brains of course. That way our Council can be earning money instead of losing it. Altogether how much are all these brainless so-called experts costing us all? One day there will have to be a reckoning.

  2. Allan Hicks October 1, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    That will be about £6m then.

  3. Anne Collins October 1, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Given their frankly dismal track record I worry about our council having any part in shaping the future of eldercare. Even if their sentiments were right I no longer have any confidence in the decision making processes they employ or the calibre of the officers responsible for the service. Eldercare is as essential to the life of the community as education, it is equal in the community’s assessment of the viability of the Islands as a home for life.
    The leadership provided by our councillors is near non existent and I reflect on just how very badly we have been served in the tenure of the present chairman.
    Eldercare needs unbiased and capable evaluation by those in touch and in tune with the long term needs of the whole community, something our council is no longer equipped to provide.

  4. Bertha Mason September 30, 2016 at 8:26 am

    No doubt this latest scheme will have been fully researched, meticulous financial planning will have been conducted, any resulting contracts will be handled in the appropriate and legal manner and we can all look forward to utopia for our elderly residents.
    Watch this space!