Reshaping Care for Older People
9th November 2011
Almost 100 delegates from voluntary groups, carer support groups, independent care providers, NHS Highland and The Highland Council met last week (2nd November) in Inverness to plan how older people can be better cared for in their communities in the future.
The event had been arranged by the Highland Third Sector Partnership, a group of local organisations funded by the Scottish Government to support voluntary activity and volunteering. Its aim was to bring together people to consider how to implement the Change Plan for Reshaping Care for Older People.
The event was opened by Elaine Mead, Chief Executive of NHS Highland, and Bill Alexander, Director of Social Work for The Highland Council.
Elaine Mead explained that the way care is currently organised is not going to meet the needs of people of Highland going into the future.
She said: "We now need a real focus to understand different approaches as to how we keep people independent and in their own homes for as long as possible. We want to reduce the amount of times people are admitted to hospitals as emergencies, but when they do have to be admitted we want to reduce the time they need to stay in hospital.
"There are thousands and thousands of beds in Highland - in people's homes - and that is where we would like to keep them. But that poses many challenges not least how we make sure the right care is in place.
"Over the next few years we will use the money available to us from the Change Fund to think and work in different ways. This will include supporting communities to support themselves."
At a strategic level, NHS Highland and the Highland Council are in the process of carrying out a consultation to integrate health, social care and education services. This will deliver a more co-ordinated and responsive care.
Bill Alexander explained the Change Fund is not there to fund new services but to change how services are provided.
He said: "The £3.4 million available to Highland is not for funding new services but to really shift the balance of care from acute hospital settings to more local settings and ideally in their own home. This will mean we need to look quite differently about what support is in place to provide responsive services and ideally to support people in their own homes."
The Change Plan forms part of Highland's modernisation of community care services. It will build on existing work such as anticipatory care planning, work on reducing falls in older people and making sure we carry out regular reviews of what medicines people are taking. Getting these things right have all been shown to reduce the amount of time people spend in hospital.
Neil Sutherland, a member of the Highland Third Sector Partnership, who chaired the meeting, said: "This was a most successful day and we were delighted with the number of people who came and the range of organisations they represented.
"We asked for ideas about how they could work together as partners with NHS Highland in delivering care and other services for older people in the community.
"During the course of the afternoon, over 20 practical initiatives for specific services such as community transport, falls prevention and local care networks were identified. These will be developed over the coming months and the network of contacts made during the day strengthened."
During the day, the delegates heard from a range of speakers including those involved with work in Assynt (North West Sutherland) where communities are actively engaged in looking after their own people.
The new Head Teacher of the new Lochaber Gaelic primary school, Bun-Sgoil Gh√†idhlig Loch Abar, received the keys to Highland Council's second purpose built Gaelic school in the Highlands today (Friday 3 July 2015). Frank Reid, Regional Managing Director for Robertson Construction Northern - contractors for the development at Ardgour Road in Caol - handed the keys for the property over to Head Teacher, John Joseph MacNeil, who takes up post at the start of the new term in August.
July is Scams Awareness Month and The Highland Council's Trading Standards team is joining forces with Citizens Advice Bureaux to warn consumers about the risks of being caught out. Trading Standards Manager Gordon Robb explained.
The Highland Council has welcomed the clear and unanimous recommendation published in the long-awaited report from the Independent Airports Commission into increasing the UK's airport capacity, that increased runway capacity should be created at Heathrow Airport, London with the construction of a third runway. The Commissions' report stated that "capacity constraints at Heathrow Airport have seen the number of domestic connections decline at the airport over recent years with no daily service operating between Heathrow and Inverness since 1997." It added that "a new runway at Heathrow will enhance the domestic connectivity of the UK, strongly benefitting the regions outside of London and the South East." The Highland Council Leader, Councillor Margaret Davidson (Independent) welcomed the recommendation by the Independent Airports Commission.
The Highland Council has published its notice to tender for ICT Core Services on Public Contracts Scotland website. The scope of the ICT Core Services to be sourced under this procurement are broadly defined as ‚Äėproviding managed technology infrastructure, application systems and desktop services required for the delivery of the Authority's business including educational ICT and online Public Access Services'.
The Highland Council has agreed to invest ¬£2.36 million in repairing the regional road network. The non-earmarked balance of reserves from 2014-15 is ¬£5.928 million.
Councillor Helen Carmichael who represents Aird and Loch Ness Ward was elected as the new Provost and Leader of Inverness and Area today (Thursday 25 June 2015). Nominated by Councillor Margaret Davidson, and seconded by Councillor Jim Crawford, Councillor Carmichael was duly elected at a special meeting of the City of Inverness Area Committee held at Council Headquarters in Inverness.
Eight businesses are the first in Highland to successfully apply for free Broadband Connection Vouchers which will now enable them to boost their broadband to make sure they benefit from new IT opportunities and better productivity. The scheme, which provide grants of up to ¬£3,000 to help small businesses and charities is funded by the UK Government's SuperConnected Cities Initiative and is administered locally by The Highland Council in conjunction with City of Edinburgh Council.
At its meeting on 16 June 2015, the Highland Licensing Board approved the final terms of its Supplementary Licensing Policy Statement on Extended Hours for Special Events of Local or National Significance. This supplements the Board's main Licensing Policy Statement 2013-2016 and will have effect as Board Policy until November 2016, when the main Statement is next due for review.
On Friday 26 June, the Caithness District Partnership will meet in full as part of the arrangements under the Planning for Integration (P4i) partnership between the NHS and The Highland Council. Issues to be discussed will include updates on the NHS redesign of Caithness General Hospital and local NHS staffing.
On Wednesday 10th June 2015 The Highland Council held a facebook chat giving lots of information and advice on what people can do to ensure they are receiving the correct benefits and tax credits, as well as giving handy tips on how to manage budgets and avoid getting into debt. Staff from the Council's Income Maximisation and Money Advice teams spent two hours on facebook answering questions on benefits, welfare, money advice and personal budgeting.
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