Public input ‘disregarded’ amid health spending crisis

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Argyll and Bute health chiefs are facing a mounting funding deficit, but while all avenues are explored to save cash, public engagement is being marginalised or ignored completely.

That is the view of Mid Argyll Health and Care Forum, set up to inform locality planning within Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP).

It has been revealed that no administrative support or representation has been provided by the HSCP to the forum for the past two meetings – and there are no plans to reinstate this.

The result is mounting anger among the public representatives on the health and care forum.

And there are fears that the move is a precursor to weakening the voice of NHS and social care users across Argyll and Bute as the HSCP consults on its latest draft strategic plan.

Mid Argyll Health and Care Partnership chair Barabel McKay has written to HSCP chief executive Joanna MacDonald requesting a meeting to discuss the issue.

The matter will also be raised at a special forum meeting on February 14 at Lochgilphead Parish Church Hall, starting at 6.30pm, at which everyone is welcome.

Barabel McKay said: ‘Public engagement, a basic founding principle of the HSCP, appears to have been completely disregarded. Let’s take back control of our own health.’

The Argyllshire Advertiser approached Argyll and Bute HSCP for a response, and this will be published in a future edition.