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Letters / Keep the promise over Viewforth

Eileen Thomson has rightly drawn attention (in a letter to The Shetland Times) to the growing public concern over the future of the dementia care centre at Viewforth. At the SIC budget meetings earlier this year, when councillors agreed new plans for looking after people suffering from dementia, we were promised there would be no reduction in the quality of service.

If there is to be no secure unit, staffed around the clock, I do not see how this promise can be kept. It looks to me, and to Viewforth clients’ relatives who have contacted me, as if some sort of experiment is going on here, to road-test a superficially attractive theory that all dementia sufferers can be cared for “in the community”. Many of them certainly can, but some can’t.

Viewforth’s clients are some of the most vulnerable people in our community; their relatives must often endure unimaginable distress; and the experienced, dedicated staff at Viewforth are among our most valued public servants. All of them deserve better than this uncertainty, worry and confusion. I hope the new council will immediately summon the SIC officials and health board managers in charge of this project, ask them to explain exactly what is going on, and ensure that the promise made at the budget meeetings is kept.

Yours sincerely,
Cllr. Jonathan Wills

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