PROPOSED cuts to health and social care services in Argyll and Bute have gone out to consultation.

School nurses, maternity and dementia services and social work posts are among the services under scrutiny by the area’s health and social care partnership (HSCP) as part of its budget-setting process.

Savings options totalling £1.6 million have been identified by the HSCP’s head of transformation and finance, Judy Orr.

But the best case estimate for its 2020/21 budget gap is nearly double that figure, meaning that the options set out by the partnership’s integrated joint board (IJB) will only go part of the way towards making the savings required.

READ MORE: Dementia care and school nurses face shake-up to bridge health budget gap

The consultation originally contained seven questions and was due to begin on February 3.

But after members of the partnership's integration joint board (IJB) raised concerns about the exercise, a revised version, with more questions, went live four days later.

Launching the amended consultation, Councillor Kieron Green, who chairs the IJB, said: “This consultation is about high level budget decisions and how we prioritise our investment in local services.

READ MORE: 'Volatility' warning on health and care finances' future

“When it comes to the impacts on services being delivered, we will carry out further detailed community engagement over the coming year.”

“This will include working with people who will be affected by these changes including patients, carers, our staff and partners to ensure we listen to and take into account their ideas and worries.”

The board says a proposal to redesign dementia services would make a £200,000 saving, while £100,000 would be retained by bringing maternity services within contracted hours.

Proposals to review health visitor and school nurse staffing are also among the savings options, and together could save a further estimated £100,000.

READ MORE: Health and care overspend 'on course to reach £2m', says new report

And a staffing review of social work posts – with up to five ‘post savings’ being made – would save the HSCP a forecast £246,000 if implemented.

The consultation is available at or by emailing

It is open until Wednesday, March 4, and the results will be considered at the IJB’s next meeting, scheduled for March 25.

READ MORE: Click here for all the latest news headlines from around Helensburgh and Lomond