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NHS Highlands' top boss says 'nothing off the table' for care home provision in Badenoch and Strathspey

By Gavin Musgrove

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Grandview House Nursing Home, on Grantown's High Street, is due to close shortly.
Grandview House Nursing Home, on Grantown's High Street, is due to close shortly.

NHS Highlands' top boss has said that nothing is ruled in or out when it comes to providing care home places in the strath after one of the leading local operators recently went into administration.

But chief executive Pam Dudek said it was very unlikely that they would acquire Grandview Nursing Home in Grantown.

It is expected to be closed down altogether this summer as things stand while a buyer is still being sought for Main's House in Newtonmore.

There was shock and concern after both care homes run by the Eavis family were placed into administration at the end of March.

The administrator has been running the two care homes in the meantime and NHS Highland is working with them.

Ms Dudek told the Strathy: "The administrators are still working through the details and looking for an alternative provider.

"These are challenging times in the care home sector and it is a challenge back to us as to how we are going to get ahead of this going forward rather that at the moment it feels quite reactive.

"Presently we get notification that a care home provider is going to withdraw. We need to get ahead of this so we are not on this 13 week time-scale where we have to come up with a plan.

"This is something I am keen to explore as it is precarious at the moment. However, we do seem to be managing the situation quite well (in the strath) and making progress with the families.

"We have successfully moved a number of residents but the big challenge will be finding another provider and hopefully we will be successful in that.

"Our duty of care to these people does not go away."

NHS Highland chief executive Pam Dudek.
NHS Highland chief executive Pam Dudek.

Ms Dudek said some of the affected residents had gone into various accommodation and this was being assessed on an individual by individual basis.

She said her understanding was that no-one had been moved away from the area up to this point other than through their own choice.

On buying Grandview, the health boss said: "Everything is always an option but for me we need to understand the provision required and how best to deliver this and what is open to us.

"We have done this once (Home Farm Care Home in Portree on Skye) in an emergency situation but I am not sure that the NHS is really in the business of buying care homes.

"However, we have a duty along with the council to provide care right across the Highlands so we will have to come up with a solution."

NHS Highland is continuing to explore ways it could help entice care home operators to take over one or both local care homes.

"At the end of the day these are independent businesses that need to be able to make them work," she said. "We are constrained by the national contracts.

"We need to understand if there are things we can do such as helping with recruitment and access to housing to ensure they are not being left to find their own way."

There were 34 residents at the time it was announced that Grandview House Ltd was being put in administration.

Health bosses have previously said they are optimistic that the Newtonmore home being run by Main's House Ltd will attract a buyer.

Dinah Hanid (Eavis) on behalf of the directors said at the time: "As a family, it has been an absolute pleasure working with so many wonderful people for the past 24 years.

"We are truly sorry that we can no longer continue to operate our services."

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