BRING THEM HOME: Relatives with learning disabilities sent to live many miles away from family

 By Lucy Ashton

Jackie Baillie has spoken of her frustrations over the lack of action on out-of-area placements after long standing problems experienced by families in Helensburgh and Lomond.

The Dumbarton constituency MSP raised the issue with Minister for Mental Well-being and Social Care, Kevin Stewart MSP, in parliament last week.

It follows concern raised by a number of families in the Helensburgh and Lomond area who have seen relatives with learning disabilities sent to live many miles away from family.

It has been an issue raised by Jackie over the last six years with Argyll and Bute Council but, despite the Scottish Government saying it is a priority to get people placed closer to home, progress has been slow.

Jackie Baillie MSP and Minister for Mental Well-being and Social Care, Kevin Stewart.

Jackie Baillie MSP said: “I have been involved with families locally who are desperate for their loved ones to be moved closer to home rather than being hundreds of miles away.

“It is not conducive to people’s mental well-being to be apart from loved ones and for such geographical barriers to be put in front of them.

“I raised the issue with the Minister but I am extremely frustrated by the SNP’s lack of action on this matter. They made it a priority in 2016 but from what I can see and what people are telling me, very little has changed in that time.

“I will continue to push for proper progress to support people in appropriate settings where their family can be involved in their lives and their ongoing care.”

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