The Cùram Thiriodh working group received a knock back in May as their bid to apply to manage the Eventide Home and the home care service was not accepted by the Council.
The group had spent three months preparing themselves to tender for the services the Council is trying to privatise, in an attempt to keep control on the island. However, in the last few weeks it became apparent that the Council wasn’t allowing bids from new groups after all – only organisations already running care homes were being allowed to submit offers. That leaves Tiree at the mercy of the Council and the market – if even one outside company puts in an acceptable bid for either service, the Council can give them the contract.
Before Cùram became aware that their bid would not be accepted they had moved quickly – it became a legal company, elected directors, opened a bank account and is well on the way to becoming a charity. Contacts were made far and wide as ideas poured in from around the country. The working group believe that Cùram’s longer term aim should be to bring together the medical, nursing and social carers (from the Eventide Home and the community) plus volunteers into one team, working as much as possible under one roof. They would also like to have the resources to help people stay at home longer, including starting day care.
Although Cùram did not qualify for the tender process, the Council asked Cùram to send in their ideas and if there are no acceptable private bids the way could be cleared for some of the new group’s plans to be adopted. We will not know until mid-August if contracts to run the Home Care and/or Care at Home services have been awarded.
In the long term the working group wants to build and run a new care centre for the island. Here there is some good news as the Health Board, Council and a local housing association have all said they would be willing to start discussions and the first meetings will take place in the next few weeks.
Cùram chairman, Dr Holliday, said,
“To put in so much work since the New Year, it is obviously disappointing not to get a chance to bid against the private companies. We had to get our act together quickly – but the pressure will be a good thing in the long run. We’ve formed a strong team, we know what we want and are a significant step closer to bringing together a partnership to build a new care centre.”