HEALTH chiefs say they are standing by their decision not to provide a care home on Cumbrae.

North Ayrshire Health and Social Partnership have reiterated their belief that opening their own establishment would be 'financially unsustainable'.

The News reported last week that the island's elderly forum are still pursuing the matter with the Scotland's Islands Federation after learning that the local authority was not in favour of providing a home.

Back in 2016, the council and other agencies contributed to a £15,000 feasibility study which identified five sites on the island for a community care home project.

Council funds were invested into the study, which concluded: "The average number of people requiring residential care (2006-2016) would tend to support the development of a 10-bedroom care home with the potential for further development."

But when the elderly forum held talks with North Ayrshire Council in October this year, the council said it could not commit to the idea.

Bosses say they are focusing on ways to look after people in their own homes.

A spokesperson for North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership said: “We are continuing to develop integrated care models for older people, which supports them for longer in their own homes.

"The nursing team on Cumbrae now support people in their own homes and at the community hospital, working closely with the island GP practice.

“The partnership is also exploring the best use of the community hospital beds, including step-up beds for short periods of rehabilitation and end-of-life care.

"This will support older people to remain on the island.

“As it currently stands, both the partnership and North Ayrshire Council do not believe that the provision of a care home on the Isle of Cumbrae is financially sustainable.”

The elderly forum was set up on the island after the last care home closed on Cumbrae in 2006 and providing a community care home on the island is its main goal.

The forum believes that a community care home is still necessary in Millport to avoid the heartbreak of couples having to separate to live in care homes on the mainland.

The forum - which currently has 110 members - has pointed out that 45 per cent of the island population is over the age of 65.

Over 100 people on the island have gone into care homes on the mainland since the forum was set up.