For the first time in many months there was a meeting open to the public held in the Courthouse today chaired by the Provost. It was called the Badenoch, Strathspey and Ardersier Partnership. As was pointed out from the public benches the title is confusing and could be mistaken as a body with the duites of the like of the Nairnshire Partnership or the local Ward Forum. It was held at and as far as these things go there was a good turnout on the public benches. What was it all about then? Well according to a recent Council press release :
“The multi-agency Partnership will meet in full for the first time as part of the new ground breaking arrangements under the Integrating Care in the
Highlands partnership between The Highland Council and NHS Highland.
The agencies are leading the way in
in overhauling the way key caring services are delivered. NHS Highland is the
lead agency for adult services and the Council are the lead agency for
children’s services.” More here Scotland
Seated around a semi-circular table were Liz, the Council’s William Gillfillan, Louise Clark, a councillor from Strathspey, Cllr Roddy Balfour representing Ardersier, some NHS high heid yins, Dr Baker, a youth worker and a couple of others.
Once Liz was elected Chair for a year there was a bit of guidance “officialese” from William and then things got underway. Liz introduced proceedings. She said:
“Folk in Nairn might say a new partnership in Nairn - so what? And I think as partnership members we have to say that in a very positive tone. We should be saying so what can we be doing for our communities and what can we do to make services better and really try and target into the areas where we can make a difference and set action points for things that can be achievable and can be met and can make a difference to people in our communities, the young and the old alike so I’m hoping that we can work hard together in a very positive nature and bring forward improvements for Badenoch, Nairn and Ardersier.”
And so it began, with talk of a range of issues, including the new appointments system, the Arthritis Care Pilot, drug and alcohol issues, mental health, care workers, patient participation, transportation to the hospital and a few others.
There were plenty of action points that came out of the meeting, some formidable outbreaks of jargon, and the names of officials, groups, agencies and initiatives elsewhere flew thick and fast. We’ll have to wait some time to see where it all goes, there will only be four meetings a year and presumably at least another two of them will be in Badenoch and Ardersier.
It was informative and occasionally thought provoking, but at the same time some of the old hands on the public benches had seen this type of multi agency stuff in the Courthouse before and afterwards, a feeling somewhere between caution and low level dismay perhaps pervaded conversation on the street outside the Courthouse. We’ve seen the high heid yins come and go before after setting out their stalls and sometimes we have been very cynical about the outcomes or the lack of them. Let’s hope this health partnership is a different kettle of fish and real improvements for the community come out of it.