Invernevis House Lochaber (14/12/05)

A meeting with relatives and interested individuals is planned for next week.

Councillor Margaret Davidson, Chairman of the Council’s Housing and Social Work Committee, and Councillor Olwyn Macdonald, Vice-Chairman, were joined at the meeting by Lochaber councillors, as well as Harriet Dempster, Director of Social Work, and John Hutchison, Area Manager, Lochaber.

Councillor Davidson explained that it had been agreed to include Invernevis in the tender following an options appraisal which had also considered refurbishment of Invernevis House and a new build in the area by the Council.

 Local members had previously expressed concerns about the disruption that the decant would cause for residents and had mooted that alternatives be considered. This concern, together with the absence of suitable accommodation near Fort William to decant residents from Invernevis during a major refurbishment, was a key factor in deciding to include Invernevis in the tender process soon to be embarked upon by the Council.  Six other homes in the Inner Moray Firth are also included in the process.

Councillor Davidson said: "Members have made it very clear indeed that they want to retain the very best services for older people. This is entirely what the current exercise is about – securing the continuity of the highest quality of service, which offers the best value for money for every community care pound we spend.

"We want to take the tendering process with the independent sector to the next stage by issuing a detailed brief which will allow interested parties to make a bid for all or some of the homes. Once the bids are received officers will evaluate them and elected members will decide how best to proceed."

Council care, she reported, was £200 per week more expensive than the equivalent service provided by the independent sector.

She assured staff that the Council would keep them, residents and relatives up to date with developments through the issue of regular newsletters and meetings, when appropriate.

The Council has established a working group to oversee the tendering process. Lochaber representatives are Councillor Macdonald and local councillor, Brian Murphy



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