Families, staff, and the wider public are being given the chance to feedback on plans looking at local authority provision of residential care for older people.
The South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership – which brings together a wide range of health and social work services – is currently considering a range of options for Hillcrest in Girvan and South Lodge in Ayr, with a series of meetings planned for October and November.
More than 800 people use private and publicly run care homes in South Ayrshire, with accommodation for up to 53 residents available at the Council-run Hillcrest and South Lodge Care Homes.
The review was ordered to help the Partnership fully understand the available care home and wider care package provision in South Ayrshire and ask families, staff and the wider public how they feel about current provision.
Feedback from the consultation will help inform decisions about both the way people live now and are supported in future at Hillcrest and South Lodge.
The review will consider the potential impacts of a number of options, including:
- Maintaining services at Hillcrest and/or South Lodge
- Upgrading facilities at Hillcrest and/or South Lodge
- The availability and potential for alternative care provision, alongside a carefully managed closure of Hillcrest and /or South Lodge.
Councillor Rita Miller, Chair of the South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership Integration Joint Board said every option was being actively considered: "Hillcrest and South Lodge Care Homes play an important role in the provision of residential care in Girvan and Ayr and are highly valued by residents, relatives and the local community.
"This review will make sure we're fully informed about the best ways to support elderly people living in our communities. There are a number of options being considered but, at this point, it must be stressed that no decision has been made and we're actively seeking the views of families, staff, and the wider public to understand the best way of moving forward.
"We've already contacted a wide-range of people to invite them to our drop-in sessions and I would urge anyone with an interest in this important issue to get involved and let us know your thoughts."
The two public consultation drop-in events are scheduled to take place at:
- Hillcrest Care Home in Girvan on Thursday 27 October between 2.30pm-4.30pm and 6.30pm-7.30pm
- South Lodge Care Home in Ayr on Wednesday 2 November (times to be confirmed).
As well as the drop-in sessions, families and residents in the care homes have also been offered a one-to-one discussion with the review team.
Denis Reid, Chairman of Friends of Hillcrest, said: "Friends of Hillcrest have been in existence for almost 30 years and, in that time, financially supported by carers – the people of Girvan and Carrick – we have provided a minibus and many other comforts for our residents in Hillcrest.
"It is vital that Hillcrest and its staff not only continue the wonderful work they do, but that that it is enhanced to provide up-to-date facilities badly needed in the Carrick area for many years to come. As our local population ages, it is vital that Hillcrest's role in the community is secured.
"I therefore urge everyone concerned that this review may result in closure of Hillcrest, to both attend the drop in sessions, write in or e-mail Councilllors, officials and the Health Board and make their views known. Best value is based on much more than finance and the Council and Health Board must be made to realise that. I urge all of you to action on this vital matter to our community."
Jeanette Pettigrew, Chairperson of South Lodge Residents' Association, said: "We have been running for three years and have an active involvement in raising money to help enhance the lives of the residents. We provide funding for various outings and entertainment, with additional funding being made available as and when required.
"We are extremely concerned about the future of South Lodge and would urge all families and friends of residents to attend the open day on Wednesday 2 November, where we hope to gain a clearer understanding of what the future holds for South Lodge."
Anyone not available to attend the event can contact email@example.com to request further information or leave feedback.