First it must be made clear that the Invercarron Resource Centre belongs to Aberdeenshire Council and not Grampian Health Board. The Health & Social Care Partnership vacated the building.
After the devastation caused by storm ARWEN when thousands of homes were without power throughout Aberdeenshire which caused considerable hardship for residents, it is now far more important that the Invercarron Resource Centre is retained for the use of the residents in Stonehaven and district as a one stop Respite Centre in times of need and difficulty.
Instead of affected residents wondering where they can go to get help they would know that the town’s Invercarron Resource Centre will be open where they can find assistance, hot food and meet others in the same situation. The Centre has a fully operational commercial kitchen which would be able to cope with a large number of people at the same time. The Centre would be serving a dual purpose of giving the users back their building and retaining it for the use of the people in times of crisis and stress. Once a crisis is over the Centre would then revert back to the users the Invercarron Resource was built for and it should remain so.
Since receiving a reply to my letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Health & Social Care I am now aware that the Health & Social Care Partnership can apply for funding to expand or refurbish premises used for all primary care purposes. See below extract from reply received:
“There is not a statutory requirement to provide a vaccination centre as such, nor are there maximum amounts of funding available for the provision of individual vaccination centres; it is for Health & Social Care Partnerships to identify suitable premises for the delivery of vaccinations and these are anticipated by Scottish Government to vary depending on the circumstances and requirement of each area.
”The funding referred to by the Health & Social Care Partnership was formerly announced on Monday 15th November by the Cabinet Secretary for Health & Social Care with Health Boards made aware by an earlier Scottish Government communication. This funding does need to be used by the end of this financial year but it can be used for purposes wider than securing premises for vaccination Centres (it can be used for expanding or refurbishing premises used for all primary care purposes) and is by no means the only source of funding made available by Scottish Government to Health Boards and Health and Social Care Partnerships to support the safe transfer of services as outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding (e.g. £155 million was made available this year through the Primary Care Improvement Fund which funds the delivery of the Primary Care Improvement Plans). As such it should not lead to any transgressions against the Memorandum’s key principles.”
If the HSCP had started consultation with the community whenever they were aware of the need for vaccinations centres in April 2018 a public consultation should have been arranged and this would surely have prevented the distress caused. It has now been confirmed that Stonehaven will be a centre for the booster vaccinations and that certainly in my opinion rules out the Invercarron Centre for reasons referred to above and not least lack of parking spaces in that area.
I respectfully suggest that the HSCP looks now into adding an annex to the Forest View Centre as they can apply for funding for such.
On Tuesday evening the Stonehaven & District Community council supported my proposal that a new annex at the Forest View Centre be confirmed as the new vaccination centre in Stonehaven and I thank them for their support.
Councillor Wendy Agnew