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With almost four decades of experience in mental health, Mid Argyll Councillor Dougie Philand speaks with a fair degree of knowledge on the subject.
When the Argyllshire Advertiser contacted him for his thoughts as Integration Joint Board (IJB) chair Kieron Green announced ‘early March’ for the launch of consultation on the revised dementia care model (story on page 3 of February 21 print edition), Councillor Philand confirmed he had heard nothing from the health and social care partnership or the IJB about the consultation.
He added: ‘It really is shocking and unacceptable that they will be starting this consultation in March, when a decision is to be made on March 25.’
He has previously described the proposal to place dementia sufferers at inpatient wards in the Greater Glasgow area, miles from their homes, as ‘inhumane’ and as he addressed protesters ahead of January’s IJB meeting, Councillor Philand said: ‘I was proud to be the first chairman of the IJB, but this is a sad day,’ he said.
‘I was removed from the board because I had a conscience and I was aware of the consequences should certain decisions be made.
‘I have 37 and a half years of experience working in mental health, so I know what happens at the severe end and I know we need inpatient facilities.
‘We have got such experienced staff, but they have been ‘manhandled’ so that they are unable to take forward their ideas to provide a first-class service.
‘The national strategies all stress the importance of an inpatient and an outpatient capability. Yes, enhance our community care, but we must also have an inpatient facility in Argyll and Bute.
‘We hope the IJB will take cognisance of this and consult in a meaningful way with staff, carers and patients.’