Few answers as council support services questioned

Argyll and Bute Council

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People in Argyll and Bute are being urged to get in touch with the council if they need extra social work support.

The pledge was prompted by concerns raised at a full meeting of Argyll and Bute Council over services at Lochgilphead Resource Centre.

The authority’s policy lead on health and social care, Councillor Kieron Green, was responding to concerns raised by another councillor regarding services at the centre.

Councillor Anne Horn also sought indicative dates for the opening of the Fyne View residential establishment in Inveraray and for the area’s autism strategy to be published.

Councillor Green replied he would give Councillor Horn a full update on the Lochgilphead situation after the June 24 meeting.

Councillor Horn said: ‘I have been approached recently by carers of clients who usually attend Lochgilphead Resource Centre. There is some concern about plans for clients being changed without consultation.

‘I am sure you can imagine this has consequences for families, some of whom have work commitments, and has a huge impact on them, especially if clients have to be kept at home as there are staff shortages.

‘We really need to get on top of this. As part of person-centred care, it just cannot happen if we don’t have these consultations.

‘Fyne View has had continuous delays in opening, even with the help of Councillor Sandy Taylor.

‘One of the future clients’ guardians has been down doing some external work to try and speed this along, but the continual delays are having an impact on families and causing real concern.

‘Do you have a date when this will open? We have been assured it will be July 15, but it looks like there are further snags to be addressed before then.

‘I also know you have assured us for several meetings now that the autism strategy is being worked on. Do you have an indicative date for that? It is causing concern that the strategy has not been in the public arena.’

Councillor Green responded: ‘For some time this has not been able to operate as people have become accustomed to for individual service users.

‘I understand that needs have been assessed and individual support was being provided, but that might not be the case for all service users due to the pressure on staff time.

‘If the council is unaware of individuals having significant challenges, I would urge them or their families to get in touch with social work.

‘On Fyne View, I have not had a firm date on the operation of that really good project that we are bringing back into use. I will endeavour to get a date for that.

‘On the autism strategy, again I have not had a firm date and will get back to you and Councillor Douglas Philand, who also raised it at our last meeting.’