“The Eventide Home could close as the Council thrashes around seeking huge savings at a meeting this week.”
That was the stark warning given by Dr Holliday as he spoke to a packed Windfall Fund meeting at An Talla last Saturday.
The 1960’s Dorran building is nearly at the end of its life and the Care Commission want a big modernisation programme – something Argyll and Bute Council has been reluctant to look at. The new Tory/Liberal/Independent coalition leading the Council decides on Thursday what to do with their six loss-making old people homes.
Giving the contract to run the Tiree Home to a private company is on the agenda, but leaks within the Council suggest the nuclear option is being strongly considered – total closure, with the possible transfer of residents to other facilities.
Dr Catherine Todd told An Tirisdeach, “Although most people prefer to be cared for in their own homes, there are very definitely situations when the Eventide Home is absolutely invaluable. Closure would be a huge loss. It would be a tragedy.”
There are currently six residents in the Home, well down on the figure a few years ago. However, Tigh an Rudha also cooks meals on wheels, gives invaluable respite for families, and provides much of the care for the medical beds in the Continuing Care Unit. Dr Holliday said, “If you close an old people’s home in Oban, there is another one just down the road. If you close the Eventide Home on Tiree, you separate families at a crucial stage in their lives. It would be unthinkable.”
The Trust, in conjunction with a number of islanders, had already begun the process of putting together a package to build a new Home. More recently, the Council had encouraged local people to take over the running of the service and the situation is being closely monitored in the Trust office.
The latest news has put a bomb under the process. “I was concerned before,” Dr Holliday told An Tirisdeach. “Now we have a full scale emergency. I call on the island to stand ready to defend the Scarinish Home and the medical Unit. They are cornerstones of life on Tiree.”
A meeting has been called on Thursday 10th February at 7.30pm in An Talla to push on with the project, and if necessary to plan for the defence of what we have, all Welcome.