As the latest manifestation of its ongoing financial crisis, and a further retrenchment in its social care, the Church of Scotland has announced the closure of an Argyll residential rehabilitation unit.
The Kirk claimed yesterday that a substantial fall in the number of referrals was the key reason for the decision, but some staff, users and relatives are likely to have other views.
CrossReach, the Church of Scotland’s social care arm, says it has "decided it is no longer viable" to continue funding for the 14-bed Ronachan House which was primarily used for people recovering from long-term addictions.
Calum Murray, Director of Adult Care Services, claimed: “There have been insufficient occupancy levels at Ronachan House for some time now and the use of a private referring agency has not, regretfully, yielded the required number of referrals.”
He continued: “Commissioners, under their own financial strictures, are commissioning 'community rehabilitation', rather than residential, due to its perceived value."
“It must be recognised that residential rehabilitation services, of the scale provided in rural areas, is both no longer required, nor the current type of provision of choice,” he said.
CrossReach says it is now undertaking "a consultation process" with staff.