Members of Council approved the recommendation to develop the plan to integrate health and care services into a single facility at the meeting of Full Council on Tuesday.

The plan will see Park House and the hospital merge either in an extension of the existing hospital site or in a new purpose built social care hub.


In her report to members, Senior Manager for Services to the Community Aisling Hick said: “The costs for both health and social care systems across the country in supporting people who are living longer with increasingly complex conditions is something everybody is facing, which is why the government has asked all localities to produce a sustainable transformation plan setting out how they are going to achieve savings and positive outcomes for service users over the next five years.


“The key word there is transformation and it’s really clear to all of us working in the public sector that we can’t keep doing things the same way we always have done. It’s neither in the best interest of clients and we also can’t afford it.


The proposal for an integrated service model was described as the best chance of securing the best possible outcomes for older people in line with what the community wants and in line with government policy.


Mrs Hick also paid tribute to health and social care staff at Park House and the Hospital, describing their efforts as ‘unbelievable’ amidst ‘endless recruitment and retention issues’.


Former Chairman and member for St Martin’s Christine Savill admitted to possessing ‘hesitations’ about the plans initially but described the proposal as ‘a really exciting project’.


She said: “It isn’t only about finances, although that is a huge part of it. It’s also about delivering services that meet the needs of our community.


“We all know that Park House and all the staff do a wonderful job and is rated Good, but the building isn’t really fit for purpose.”


This view is consistent with the Options Appraisal conducted by consultants Five Square Limited who said Park House was poorly laid out, not compliant with the Disabilities Discrimination Act and despite being registered for 12 beds contained only 11 bedrooms available for use by residents.


Mrs Savill went on to say: “If we do manage to achieve this it will be one of the biggest most important things this council has ever achieved.


Chairman of the Community Services Committee Fran Grottick said: “I hope everyone will support these plans which will be shared with our community as they progress. If funding can be found, this will be an exciting and innovative venture of benefit to all islanders.


“Meanwhile, assurances have been given that the Council will continue to support Park House and the Hospital.”

© All images on this site are either owned by This is Scilly, published under licence or reproduced with kind permission.