The final question at the patients group meeting, held in the Community and Arts Centre on Tuesday night last week was about the Nairn Hydrotherapy pool. Taking questions from the floor were Deborah Jones (Chief Operating Officer, NHS Highland) and JeanPierre Sieczkarek, Area Manager, Inverness West, Inverness East, Nairn & Ardersier, Badenoch & Strathspey.
A representative had been sent by the Hydrotherapy Pool (a facility approaching its thirtieth birthday this November), she said: “ I was sent here to ask you a question, my bosses set up the Nairn Hydrotherapy Pool and they are wondering whether funding for it will be guaranteed by the NHS basically in light of the spending cuts?”
Deborah Jones said: “NHS Highland finished 2014/15 in balance with a small surplus. I’m not conscious that the board has cut any services. We are looking certainly at all services in a critical way in terms of are they delivering the outcomes that we expect them to deliver and are they consistent with the evidence and the needs of the local population. So that’s globally.” She then asked JeanPierre Sieckarek to continue.
He then added: “I suppose that just continuing on the global theme. I suppose that we are looking at everything at the moment. Nothing’s got a guarantee and I probably would include myself in that. There’s no guarantee that we’ll be doing the same thing tomorrow that we were doing yesterday. We’re still looking at working...I know exactly what you are talking about of course and we are still trying to work with your bosses to try and work out just the value of the Hydro Pool and just where that fits within our future plans. That’s the simplest way I can put it because we just think of what are we trying to do there and I don’t breach any confidence but we’ve had several lengthy discussions about what are we trying to get out of that. It’s actually very like the discussion we had over GP contracts: it’s about making and maintaining and making sure we get full quality out of what our agreements are with all our partners. That’s the best answer I can do.”