The long running campaign to save East Renfrewshire’s only public care home from being sold off into the private sector was given a lift this week with a new committee set up to address a number of healthcare issues.
While this new committee will not accept representation from the public, campaign leaders welcome a chance to have new eyes looking at the case.
Campaign leader Alan Smillie said: “We have been told that the new integrated Health and Social Care Partnership board comprising four councillors and four NHS representatives will decide at its first meeting, on October 7, whether Bonnyton House is to be sold or not.
“The staff and users of Bonnyton care are not invited to this meeting and the public can’t speak either. But we are hoping to have a chance to put our case .”
Campaigners strongly oppose the council’s solution to boost its budget from selling off Bonnyton House to the highest bidders and save further costs from subsidising loss making services.
The council advocates that selling the care home to a private organisation will raise the bulk of £600,000, equivalent to the sum needed to satisfy budget cost savings.
Mr Smillie said: “A Grant Thornton report into the running of the day care centre reveals many flaws. For example, a visit to the day care centre is costed at £4.40 when the actual cost of that visit to the council is over £140. There are examples of bad management throughout the report that could have been addressed years ago. Why was nothing done then?
“Selling the care home is the easy way out. Closing the day care centre will save the haemorrhaging of funds that the council has subsidised at a huge loss for years.
“The long term benefit to retaining the care home in the public sector can raise around £100,000 per year in profit by developing the home to a 45-bed care home and reducing the reliance on agency labour.”