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.
Next Wednesday (4 February) the four housing partners of the Highland Housing Register in Caithness will be hosting special sessions in Wick and Thurso to let people know about an exciting new way of allocating some of its properties, giving applicants much more choice about the housing they will be offered. For a period from 16 February 2015 onwards, vacancies will be advertised to promote choice.
Paper and can banks are to be phased out of The Highland Council's network of Recycling Points during February and March. The decision was taken at a meeting of The Highland Council on the 18th December, at which the budget for 2015/16 and the indicative budget for the following 3 years was agreed, a package of savings totaling ¬£42.8 million.
PROPOSALS for changing customer service provision in 22 locations across Highland are being considered as part of a public consultation. Council staff and members of the public are being asked for their views on proposed changes to how services are currently provided.
The Highland Council's new website has risen to the top 6% of UK Local Government websites, according to an independent survey into online presence. The website, launched in July 2014, aims to focus more on the needs of the customer and provides a platform to deliver more services online.
Early in February the first two in a series of workshops specifically for anyone working in the local food and drink sector will take place to highlight how social media can be best used to increase profit, support other local businesses and promote the area. The workshops follow on from the project The Highland Council ran last year across the Highlands to investigate the potential and appetite for developing an industry-led local food and drink network that could co-ordinate and drive future activities to support the local food and drink sector in the region.
The Highland Council wishes to clarify that if anyone is seeking information on their Winter Maintenance Policy and gritting maps then this information can be found on the Highland Council website. The Highland Council Winter Maintenance Policy states: "The treatment of roads will be carried out based on a hierarchical system dependant on route priority".
LEADER of The Highland Council, Drew Hendry and Chief Executive Steve Barron praised council workers following a week of severe weather affecting the region. Storm force winds caused havoc, leaving thousands of homes and businesses without power for days, bringing trees and branches down across roads and railway lines, damaging buildings and causing network and telecommunications problems across the area.
Proposals to deliver the Scottish Government's report on "Developing Scotland's Young Workforce" in the Highlands have been welcomed by Members of The Highland Council‚Äôs Education, Children and Adult Services Committee this week. Members were informed that an implementation strategy for Highland‚Äôs young people will need to take into account: ¬∑ industry engagement in developing general education Curriculum for Excellence; ¬∑ specific vocational pathways leading to industry recognised qualifications; ¬∑ college systems focussed on employability; ¬∑ apprenticeship opportunities and advanced qualifications through work based learning; and ¬∑ a systematic approach to business sector engagement.
Highland Council Members have agreed the terms of reference for a review of the Facilities Management model which is being rolled out in schools across the Highlands. In 2010 the Council previously agreed to take forward the Facilities Management model, the benefits of which were expected to: ¬∑ create of a universal support function to assist Head Teachers with property and grounds management; ¬∑ create a standardised operating model under specialist line management arrangements; ¬∑ create standardised job descriptions ensuring a consistent approach to facilities management across all schools; and ¬∑ is affordable within the Council's current budget allocation.
Two Highland Council roads and 12 schools remain closed or affected today (Monday 12 January) following the severe weather. Newhall Bridge B9163 on the Black Isle is closed until further notice, due to structural damage.
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