Oban councillor warns of possible ‘unpalatable’ health and care cuts

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Proposals to cut £10 million from Argyll and Bute’s health and social care budget will go public on March 21 but some options are ‘extremely unpalatable’ and potentially could affect a large number of jobs, a councillor has warned.

Details of proposals will go online on the council and Health and Social Care Partnership’s websites on that date.

Members of the Integration Joint Board will then meet on March 28 to decide which proposals will be taken forward to the next year to fill the multi-million pound shortfall.

The warning of hard decisions ahead came from Argyll and Bute councillor Kieron Green at Monday’s Oban Community Council meeting.

Councillor Green, who is also the vice-chairman of the Integration Joint Board, was quizzed for more details but remained tight-lipped, saying he was not in a position to give information away before it was officially in the public domain.

He said: ‘I have seen a fair few proposals, some are extremely unpalatable. We are working out which ones can be brought forward.

‘Some of the proposals concern me deeply,’ he added and told the community council it was important the situation was handled sensitively because there were ‘potentially a large number of jobs that could be affected’.

He told the community council: ‘We don’t want to unnecessarily concern staff if there are proposals that might not see the light of day.’

There are fears that proposals could include closing Oban’s council-owned Eader Glinn care home in Drummore Road and could cost hospital beds.

At the last Care Inspectorate visit in November 2017, the home’s care and support was ranked as ‘very good’ and its management and leadership were rated as  ‘excellent’.

However, Argyll and Bute Council has previously considered closing Eader Glinn along with some of its other homes on Islay and Tiree.

A member of the public at Monday’s meeting said: ‘I think Eader Glinn is on the hit list and beds to go at the hospital are on the hit list. We know there are hard decisions to be made but keeping them a secret is not going to help.’

Councillor Green replied: ‘At the next meeting you can ask me for an update on all the proposals in the public domain.’

The next Oban Community Council meeting is on March 26.