Argyllshire Advertiser leader column – March 13, 2020

Campaigners make their views known ahead of January's IJB meeting
Campaigners made their views known ahead of January's IJB meeting

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The consultation held this week on the future of dementia services was less about consultation and more to do with telling the public what is about to happen.

There is undoubtedly a need for a public voice on the future of elderly and dementia care, but Tuesday’s exercise seems to have been, for HSCP management, just a step on the road to the closure of Knapdale ward.

There has been no discussion, as far as we are aware, with skilled, experienced and knowledgeable nursing and clinical staff about their preferred ‘option four’.

No matter whether they agree or disagree with the views of staff, patient’s families, the union and many others, HSCP managers are public servants and surely have an obligation to listen and genuinely hear what people are saying.

The impression the general public is getting is that this has been a predetermined decision made in secret. And that is not good enough.

As was said at Tuesday’s consultation, the IJB must defer any decision until all the alternatives are properly considered – and discussed in the public domain.

Public opinion remains unconvinced.