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A Blairmore woman has vowed to chain herself to her mother’s bed if she is ‘evicted for her home’ at Struan Lodge.


Catherine Rae’s 91-year-old mother Josephine, who has dementia and cancer, has been living in Struan Lodge for two and a half years after being cared for by Catherine for five years.




Catherine said: “I couldn’t provide the level of care required. My mum had been going to day care at Struan Lodge and know the staff already.


“We looked at other places, but they just didn’t suit – she is not just a piece of meat to be turned to face the telly – at Struan Lodge she gets the personal care she deserves.


“Struan Lodge held a ceilidh for mum’s 90th birthday last year – it was magical. There were about 50 people there, relatives she hadn’t seen for years as well as friends and other residents.”


Catherine continued: “She feels right at home there. She has really come out of herself and is looking and feeling much better. This is because she is settled – I dread to think what a forced move would do to her. She not only lives at Struan Lodge, she positively blossoms there – and that is because of the excellent staff.”


The first Catherine heard about Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership’s plans to close the residential facility at Struan Lodge and turn it into a care home (as reported last week) was a letter dated June 30 with the subject ‘Struan Lodge Redesign’.


The letter speaks of consultation with ‘clients, staff and their carers’ before going on to say: “The Health and Social Care Partnership will be developing Struan Lodge as a ‘Cowal Hub’,” and continues “We will need to carefully consider how best to provide overnight care for the people who currently use the residential service as this would not be delivered from the hub.”


Catherine said: “That is not any kind of consultation – that is telling us what is going to happen.


“Struan Lodge is my mother’s home – and they will evict her over my cold corpse. I will chain myself to the bed rather than allow her to be evicted.


“How is this saving money? They will still have to put her – and the other residents - somewhere else and pay for it. I’m not having this.”


Catherine has written to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon about the situation, and intends to speak to every politician – local and national – who will listen to her.


Struan Lodge was previously owned by Argyll and Bute Council but is now run by the health and social care partnership.


Council leader Dick Walsh said: “Struan Lodge is very important to people in Dunoon and Cowal and many local residents have been in touch with me to express their concerns about proposals for the facility.


“While the Health and Social Care Integrated Joint Board will make any final decisions, people should be assured that I will continue to represent their views to the board in the strongest possible terms.”


A 2013 attempt to close Struan Lodge was overturned because of the strength of public opinion.


Maurice Corrie, chair of the health and social care partnership, said that the ‘re-design’ of services at Struan Lodge was a result of: “Listening very strongly to the local community in the previous exercise.” He continued: “This is building on that consultation.”




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