Friday, January 30, 2015

Getting the best for Health and Social care in our area – a Suburban CC initiative

Dick Youngson speaking at the meeting of Nairn Suburban Community Council on Tuesday night in Nairn Academy told those present how his organisation had sent a letter to both Highland Council and NHS Highland outlining their desire for a model for integrated community care locally. A copy of the letter is available here (it was circulated widely including to the relevant MPs and MSPs.

“Something that can be managed here by all of us,” said Dick. “It is the way now that the Scottish Government is approving and suggesting.” 

The theory behind the initiative from Dick and his colleagues with this approach is that decisions and Health and Social Care issues are decided locally with an appropriate level of funding for the area’s size of population. 

Alastair Noble then spoke. He said, “I think the really important thing is that we had a very good meeting with Dr Baker and obviously there are ongoing discussions with the practice. I think it is absolutely essential that we acknowledge that it won’t work if the practice and the people of Nairn are not singing from the same hymn sheet and we need facts, we need details. 

My views on this are well known we should know what our fair share allocation is. We should know what has been spent we should know what the activity is, we should know where the activity is. If there are repeated difficulties in home care or physiotherapy, locality capacity the whole point of this integrated bill that the Scottish Government has put through is that the strategic commissioning process will deliver locality capacity. I think we are in a position where we have a fund of knowledge, a fund of experience. We’ve had very good working relationships with the Council, with NHS Highland, with the Community Councils and historically we have a community care forum with the users and the carers and the practice has always been very involved in that. 

I think given the recent problems there’s been it’s absolutely essential that we move back to a position where we openly and frankly can discuss what’s going on and to do that we need the data and the information and a locality planning process. It’s absolutely essential that we move this forward and we have a willingness from the practice to take part in that and a willingness to share the data and I think that puts us in a very strong position to help NHS Highland and Highland Council with their integration board and their strategic commission role. I just think we have to keep the pressure on because the alternative in my opinion is just not acceptable or sustainable or in the best interests of any of us who could either be patients or need services in the communities. I think it is really important we get this right and I think we have to keep pushing on down this road.”

Liz MacDonald then asked if there was any way that Suburban CC could put their questions to the District Partnership. This is a discussion group that meets in public where health and social care issues are raised. Liz said that putting forward the issue of separating Nairn and Ardersier from Badenoch and Strathspey would “give it a meatier agenda and may find some positive resolutions”. 

Dick replied that that was possible but they didn’t see much affinity between the area here and Badenoch and Strathspey. He then said, “It’s one of these unfortunate little linkages that isn’t perhaps as helpful or as appropriate as it should be. That’s one of the reasons why we see this particular area from Ardersier, Croy, Cawdor and eastwards here to the boundary with Moray as being a very logical area.”

The debate continued and Liz repeated the invitation. The next meeting of the District Partnership happens to be in the Courthouse on Thursday the 5th of February at 10 am and is open to the public. You can read the agenda here.

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