INVERCLYDE health and social care chiefs are facing a huge challenge to find asylum seekers with the right to remain in the country somewhere to stay - after getting almost no notice from the Home Office.

Members of Inverclyde Integrated Joint Board (IIJB) , which oversees local agencies, have been told that the UK Government sped up their decision-making process on applications from dozens of young men who have been put up in the Holiday Inn hotel in Greenock since last summer after it was requisitioned by ministers.

Greenock Telegraph: Holiday Inn Hotel in Greenock

Those individuals told that they are allowed to stay have to leave their contingency accommodation almost immediately and find a permanent home.

Housing association River Clyde Homes has stepped in to provide properties that can be used for those needing accommodation urgently.

Meanwhile IIJB members have been advised that detailed financial planning is now under way to ensure that local services are able to respond to pressures brought by the number of asylum seeker, refugee and resettlement programmes now in place locally.

The head of finance, planning and resources at Inverclyde Health & Social Care Partnership, Emma Cummings spoke of 'a changing picture' during the recent board meeting.

She said: "We have seen quite a number of positive [granted application] decisions recently, particularly with young men who are living in hotel, because of the type of countries they come from. This can be really, really challenging.

"We are supposed to get 28 days notice, but we are getting as little as zero or three days. This leaves us with a huge challenge for getting any accommodation at that point.

"We are working really closely with RCH and they are bringing on properties we can use."

HSCP chief officer Kate Rocks told the meeting talks were held with the Home Office in a bid to ensure that suitable notice is granted whenever the UK Government decides an applicant can remain here.

She said that the situation had since improved.

HSCP chief officer Kate Rocks added: "Once people get positive decisions they become citizens, so there is funding available like the housing revenue budget which we get retrospectively."

The partnership's interim head of community care, Alan Best, said that refugees have been welcomed with open arms in the area and have enriched the community.

He praised staff who have been supporting the young men living in the hotel, as well as others who have come into the area, like Ukrainian refugees.

Mr Best added: "We have used funding streams to put together a team who have worked with third sector to make sure that people are kept safe, linked with other services and their wellbeing is looked after."

The Tele recently reported how the number of asylum seekers living in the Holiday Inn could increase from 69 to over 120, following a Home Office decision to let asylum seekers double up and share rooms.

The joint board meeting was told that despite the new policy being in place this is only happening on a small scale at the Holiday Inn, where appropriate.