McAlpine presses for answers on Acorn House

MSP Joan McAlpine is pressing decision makers over parents’ claims there is a freeze on referrals to Acorn House.

The MSP is concerned that a moratorium would mean reviewers get an inaccurate picture of how well used the facility is.

The NHS’ Chief Operating Officer has said that families are choosing not to use the service – but parents refute this and have told the MSP that their needs are not being met as  there is a referral moratorium in place.

Ms McAlpine is pressing for answers from the NHS.

Ms McAlpine has previously highlighted to the health board and the council that Acorn House is essential for families across the region.

Commenting, the SNP MSP said:

“I have previously written to members of the Integrated Joint Board – who will be making the final decision about Acorn House – to ask them to ensure that the facility is fully operational when it was being assessed by the reviewer.

“Parents remain concerned that Acorn House is being reviewed whilst running at minimum rather than optimum capacity. 

“In their response, the IJB said that Acorn House is frequently under occupied, and families are choosing not to use the service.

“However parents have told me that whilst there is a referral moratorium in place,  families are not having their needs met.

“I have I asked for clarity on this – and that any moratorium be ended – so that families in need of respite, and those who wish to access Acorn House, can use this service.” 

The local MSP says it is unacceptable that if Acorn House were to close, the only residential services available for families would be outwith the region.

She agrees with parents that the proposal to use Self Directed Support to provide community respite, sometimes at home, was also unsuitable for many families who use Acorn House.

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