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Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP has called on the operator of the Budhmore Care Home at Portree to halt its shock closure plans until NHS Highland has completed its options appraisal on health and care needs in the North of Skye.
Mr Blackford’s intervention comes after last week’s news that the 15 residents of the home, run by CrossReach, have been given notice of the June closure of the facility and that plans were being made to move them into rooms at Home Farm care home.
Local fundraising efforts had looked to ensure that upgrades to the building – currently run in conjunction with the Church of Scotland – could be completed to enable
care to continue.
However, the providers have now confirmed that they no longer believe this to be
possible, and that the money raised will be returned to the community.
Mr Blackford has written to CrossReach chief executive Viv Dickenson demanding an urgent meeting on the matter and calling for a halt to the process until the health board has completed its options appraisal for the area.
Mr Blackford said he was ‘astonished’ that last week’s announcement of the closure of Budhmor in a few short weeks was being announced without any consultation with the residents, staff, or the wider community.
‘It is not acceptable that CrossReach and the Church of Scotland close the doors on Budhmor and walk away from their responsibilities to residents, staff, and the wider community’ he said.
‘The safety and care of residents and future needs of the community must come before any other considerations. Closing this care home and reducing care capacity on Skye without a sustainable long-term plan is an abrogation of responsibility.’
Highland Council candidate Drew Miller, who is local to the area, added that people were worried that the north end of the island would soon come to a point where sufficient care capacity simply did not exist. ‘That can’t be something that’s allowed to happen,’ he added.
And he continued: ‘I think the way that CrossReach has handled this with its complete neglect of consultation with interested parties has been shameful.
‘Given that the local community has raised money towards the upkeep of the care home, this decision really does rub salt into the wound.’
MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber Ian Blackford.