Council To Close Park House In June
Scilly’s Council has announced that it will close the islands’ only residential care home, Park House, in June, despite councilors expressing “no appetite” for the service to end.
At the last Full Council Meeting on 7th March, Senior Officer for Community Services Aisling Hick told councilors that the decision to close Park House, based on safe staffing levels, would be taken by her alone, as the responsible officer, and not by elected members.
In a statement issued today, the Council says the decision is not due to financial constraints but due to “significant recruitment issues, which mean that the service is unable to ensure a minimum safe level of staffing to meet the needs of Park House residents.”
They say that, “the level of vacancies within the service is too high and the current staffing arrangements are not a viable medium or long term option. If we do not act now it is expected that standards within the home will begin to decline and we need to make preparations before the situation deteriorates.”
The authority says it is, “working closely with residents and their families to identify an appropriate alternative care arrangement to meet each person’s individual needs and requirements.”
They say they expect to continue providing home care services for islands’ residents, including overnight in-home care, but will no longer be able to provide overnight accommodation.
It’s likely that residents requiring such higher levels of care will need to make arrangements on the mainland.
The decision will come as a blow to many islanders who have expressed their concern over the potential closure of Park House.
Last year, former islands’ GP and then councilor Dr Adrian Davis described sending elderly islanders to the mainland for care as “a death sentence,” due to the unfamiliar surroundings and the difficulty for friends and family to visit them.
The council is holding a public meeting in the Town Hall tomorrow (21st March) at 4.30pm to discuss the closure.