Letter: The Economics of Dignity?

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Sir,

Auchinlee was a registered care home for 24 older people with dementia inspected by the Scottish Care Inspectorate to their standards (including staffing requirements).

I understand that some of these residents were accommodated at Lorne Campbell Court when Auchinlee closed.

Their re-assessments were made at the time the Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) were looking for £14 million cuts as highlighted on the Courier’s front page on March 9.

I was incensed to read the HSCP communications manager’s letter clarifying that Lorne Campbell Court ‘Does not provide dementia care but it does provide an extra care housing service for individuals who are living independently but who require additional care and support, especially overnight.’ It is rubbing salt in the wound.

Could his interest in semantics, pedantic attention to detail and requirement to correct the Courier be more to do with the re-definition of need to suit budgetary requirements and reduced scrutiny?

Woe betide the HSCP if this new service is categorised as a residential home and the regulators come knocking at the door with their inspection criteria?

Whilst there are different types, dementia is a progressive disease and as time goes by, sufferers require more help rather than less.

I consider any reduction in care for these vulnerable individuals is irresponsible.

I have the greatest respect for the extreme hard work of all the community staff working under very difficult circumstances, having been one myself, and I am not criticising Lorne Campbell Court.

I am saddened at the ever diminishing resources available. This is something politicians at all levels need to address urgently given our ageing population.

Andrew Hemmings,

Sound of Kintyre,

Machrihanish.