PLANS for a new initiative for Renfrewshire residents living with an acquired brain injury will now be backed by hundreds of thousands of pounds.

A total of £300,000 has been set aside for a community-led model of support – which would be commissioned for three years – after the closure of the Quarriers service earlier this month.

The core aim of the proposal would be to help people with a head injury and their families and connect them to “wider social supports” in the area, a report to the council’s leadership board on Wednesday explained.

The step was welcomed by Labour group leader Iain McMillan who previously voiced concerns about uncertainty surrounding the shape of the new venture.

The politician, who represents Johnstone South and Elderslie, said he was glad to see work on the planned initiative progress.

However, he sought clarity on what service users were expected to do before the service is up and running.

Councillor McMillan said: “It’s all about the families and the people who use this service, they have been left with a void in their service. The service, as we know, finished on June 7.

“This process – although I think it’s going to be speeded up and it’s going to be quite quick, I hope – even if it’s all concluded by September or October time, which I think is probably an estimate on the good side, it’s still going to be four months without this service.

“We know that head injuries unfortunately happen on a regular basis, so I’m not entirely sure if any poor soul gets affected by a head injury today, tomorrow, next week, where they’re going to go and what kind of support they’re going to get.

“We know when people get head injuries it can radically change their lives and change the lives of those around them.”

Laura McIntyre, the council’s head of policy and partnerships, responded: “In terms of people presenting, who may have a social care requirement linked to a head injury, whether it’s an existing or a new injury that has been suffered by someone, they would still be able to seek support through local social care services and through the service request process.

“There would be an assessment process as part of that to assess the level of support that would be required for any individual with those types of care needs.

“I appreciate your point around the services that maybe wrap around a person but that would be the first port of call for anyone.”

Council officers are planning to consult with service users on the shape of the new model, adding to feedback already gathered by other stakeholders. A procurement process is then expected to take place.

Council leader Iain Nicolson, an SNP representative for Erskine and Inchinnan, said: “It will be guided and it will be led by the service users themselves, that group of individuals, as to how that will shape and form up.

“I know people have been saying, ‘Well why can’t we have the original service back?’ Unfortunately that’s gone, in a sense, because that contract has gone.

“It’s an opportunity for us to now go out and say, here’s the resources, how do you want us to shape up? You guide us on how you want to shape up.”

Meanwhile, Govan Law Centre has lodged a petition for judicial review in the Court of Session – challenging the decommissioning of the previous head injury service.