Relief for residents after the turnaround in the social care provision of a rural village

Vulnerable residents in parts of rural Stirling were left sweating life-saving social care arrangements this week after being told they were to be evicted.

Villagers in Killin have been told they must be deprived of social care after carers in the area offered essential services including helping patients with daily tasks, such as dressing and bathing.

A few days later, they were told that care services would be restored.

A Killin couple raised concerns after being briefed on developments by Stirling Council officials on Tuesday.

Myra Dunn, 91, needs the daily help of caregivers after suffering a heart attack around two years ago.

Caregivers from Cera Care, who provided care services on behalf of the council, visited Ms Dunn’s home every morning and evening.

However, yesterday (Thursday) as the Observer went to print, Ms Dunn was told her care provision was to be reinstated and provided directly by the council.

Mr Dunn, 75, said the initial decision had added stress to the couple, whose families reside mainly in the Portsmouth area.

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He said: “We have had carers for my wife for two years. She had a heart attack and nearly died just over two years ago and since we cared for her at home and Stirling Council initially provided us with carers and we had them every morning and every night.

“Morning visits would include being able to give her a shower, wash her, dress her and things like that and evening visits would just be talks to make sure everything was okay.

“Things started to go downhill about a year ago, they couldn’t provide morning care and sometimes weekend care.

“What they have done now is that two representatives from Stirling Council have stood up this week to tell us that the company that the contractor, Cera Care, will no longer provide care for Killin.

“They came and said ‘we don’t provide care anymore’. They said there was nothing they could do, they just said there would be no worries for the foreseeable future because they were bound by paperwork and contracts.

“This is absolute nonsense. It’s not just the stress of it all, but I have health issues myself. If anything happens to me, there will be nothing for my wife. We have to rely on our friends and neighbors.

Mr and Mrs Dunn praised the help of the local community in dealing with the difficult situation.

Mr Dunn added: “This village is fabulous. The people mobilized. The minister’s wife was exceptional. She came and took care of my wife for a whole weekend while I was going for an angiogram.

Commenting on the current social care situation in Killin, a spokesperson for Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership said: ‘We are aware of the workforce capacity issues the local provider is experiencing in the area. These pressures are not unique to Killin and are seen in the care sector across the country.

“We are actively working with the provider, families and the local community to ensure people are safe and receive the care they need.”

A spokesperson for Cera Care told the Observer: ‘We are committed to providing care across Scotland, including in rural areas that other providers cannot reach.

“We continue to work with local authorities to ensure service users in the Killin area receive the high quality care they need.”

Trossachs and Teith ward councilor Martin Earl has been contacted by a number of concerned voters about the situation. He said: ‘Providing the care people need in Killin and other rural areas has been a problem for many months. I’m tired of hearing problems that repeat themselves over and over again.

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