The Western Isles Integration Joint Board (IJB) is currently reviewing the use of the three Care Units in Lewis.
Over the last few months, they have been engaging with staff, stakeholders and community representatives to discuss changes that could be introduced.
At its September 2018 meeting, the Integration Joint Board considered a report detailing a drop-off in demand for the care units, which resulted in the implementation of a temporary suspension of admissions to the Garrabost Unit (four beds).
Shortly after that, the Carloway Care Unit (four beds) became vacant due to the care needs of the residents exceeding the care service available within the Unit. For similar reasons, the Crowlista Care Unit (three beds) became vacant. At the recent report was written writing, there was only a single resident across the three care units (11 beds).
The IJB are now at the stage of formally considering different options about how the Care Units could be used differently into the future and want to hear from members of the public about how best to proceed. The options are
- Status Quo. This would involve maintaining the Care Units as they are. However, our analysis suggests this would not be a good use of our resources, since most of the units are now empty and there is limited demand for them.
- The redevelopment of one of the three care units into a respite care facility, with the remaining resource being taken as a saving as a result of two remaining care units closing. Respite care would help to support more carers to get a break from their caring role.
- The redevelopment of one of the three care units into a respite care facility, with the remaining resource being split between a saving and investment in homecare. Respite care would help to support more carers to get a break from their caring role and additional homecare staff would help reduce waiting times. This is the IJB’s preferred option.
- Other options can be suggested as part of the consultation
Overall, currently, community care needs in the Isle of Lewis are supported by a range of services, including homecare, residential care, reablement, and respite care for unpaid carers and the care units. The homecare service operates from 6.30am to 1.30am and provides a service to over 300 people on any given day. Homecare continues to be the foundation of community care provision, and as part of their strategy to support people safely and independently at home.
Having undertaken this work, the Western Isles Integration Joint Board would now like to hear from the public on which of the four options they should implement as detailed here - https://ijbwesternisles.scot/index.php/publications/lewis-care-units-consultation
In addition, there will be three public consultation events, as follows:
- Monday March 4th at Ionad Stoodie (Garrabost) from 7.30-9.30pm
- Monday March 18th Uig Community Centre (Crowlista) 7.00-9.00pm
- Tuesday March 19th Carloway Community Centre 7.30-9.30pm