Allan meets Western Isles carers over future of services

Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allanattended the AGM of the Western Isles Carers Users and Supporters Network (WICUSN) on Friday to discuss a range of issues affecting carers throughout the islands.

At the AGM in the Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway, which included a videolink to Barra, issues as varied as the future of the Hospital’s Clisham ward,overnight care services for the elderly at home, and the ongoing need for a new hospital in Barra were discussed.

Alasdair Allan commented:“I was very pleased to be at the Carers AGM once again, and to see that the organisation is still fighting hard for the rights of those who care for a relative or friend in their own homes.

“Representatives of both the Comhairle and the Health Board were present, which allowed for a wide ranging discussion about the future of services, with frustration being expressed that, in the past, services have not been joined up in the way they should be. I hope that the implementation of the Scottish Government’s Change Fund will help make a difference to this.

“Specifically, I will now be keeping in touch with the health board about the review they are conducting of psychiatric services, as the meeting clearly wants a clearer picture of what these might look like in future, and in particular the future of the Clisham ward.

“Another issue I will seek more information from the Comhairle on is the Mobile Overnight Support Scheme (MOSS) under which support is provided to frail people over night in their own homes. This is a service which has only ever helped some areas of the islands, and I have now written to the Comhairle for an indication of when they will be in a position to clarify what can be done to meet this need throughout the islands.

“There was also a discussion about the increasingly urgent need to replace the hospital building in Barra, and it was again indicated that a decision in principle on this issue will be taken at the beginning of next year. I am anxious that this timetable does not slip, and will keep in touch with NHS Western Isles about this.”