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Last week the small group of people controlling how pubic money is spent on health services in the region decided to press ahead with a process which could lead to the closure of a ward in Mid Argyll Hospital.
Argyll and Bute Integration Joint Board (IJB) agreed to consult on its preferred option, which would see dementia care moved entirely to the community other than in severe cases, where inpatients would be placed in the Glasgow area.
The Knapdale dementia ward needs improvement, but once done it would be a valuable resource to enhance and support the proposed community dementia care model.
Member after member of the IJB said the proposal to close Knapdale was ‘not about money’, but the elephant in the room was its estimated £8.3 million budget gap in 2020/21.
The HSCP’s own figures, though, reveal the cost of buying care services from Greater Glasgow and Clyde would virtually wipe out any savings if more than a handful of patients need referral there.
And that does not take accout of the human cost of patients being placed many miles from their families.
A further report will be submitted to the IJB on the outcome of the forthcoming consultation at its next meeting on March 25.
We urge anyone with an interest in dementia care to support our campaign to Save Knapdale Ward and get involved with the consultation when it opens.
Our chosen symbol for the campaign is the forget-me-not flower, long associated with the dementia issue.
Let us know what you think.