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 Highland Council is pleased to announce that 'financial close' of the Wick Campus project was achieved, Friday 19 December 2014. With financial close, the Design, Build, Finance and Maintain (DBFM) contract has now been signed off for the Â£48.5m project which is due to complete in September 2016.
The budget for 2015/16 and the indicative budget for the following 3 years has been agreed following a meeting today of Highland Council. A package of savings totally Â£42.8 million was agreed.
â€˜Out with the old, in with the new' is an expression frequently heard over the Festive Season and this year The Highland Council's Waste Awareness Team are urging us all to make sure we don't just throw away the old but remember to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible. Remember to use your blue bin for all paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, food tins and drink cans (no glass or plastic bags - everything should be loose, dry and clean).
Today (Monday 15 December 2014) marks the introduction of revised planning permitted development rights for agricultural and forestry tracks. All proposed new, or alterations to existing, roads, tracks or footpaths (known collectively as â€˜private ways') on agricultural or forestry land must now go through a prior notification process with the Planning Authority before any development can commence.
People in Thurso are being advised by The Highland Council that the recycling banks at Thurso Lidl have been removed until February 2015 due to lack of space in the car park during the store's renovations. At this time of year householders have a lot of extra recycling, including glass in particular, and the Council is urging them to use other banks in the town.
Part-time distance learning primary teaching course. Building on an existing successful partnership between The Highland Council and the University of Aberdeen, the next Distance Learning Initial Teacher Education Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (DLITE PGDE) (Primary) begins on 7 February 2015.
The work of Highland Council's Countryside Rangers was welcomed at the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee as Members gave their support for the wide range of work done by the Rangers and also gave their approval for the 2015/16 programme of events across the area. Highland Council's Countryside Manager George Duff informed members of the achievements made by the Rangers in the last financial year for 2013/14 and highlighted some local events they had been involved in: Â· In Caithness and Sutherland 162 events took place which were attended by 1865 people with 98% of participants saying it met their expectations and 59% saying it exceeded expectations.
With staff due to move into the new council offices in Wick in March next year, one of the items on the Area Committee today was to agree a name for the building which will house 140 members of staff. Local Councillors, keen to have a new name to encompass both the refurbished original listed building at Market Place and to reflect the new works to incorporate the adjoining building at Stafford Place put forward the suggestion of Caithness House which was unanimously agreed by the Committee.
No bags in Blue Bins recycling message. Clean, dry and loose, that's the simple message that The Highland Council is delivering to householders where it has been experiencing contamination issues with the blue recycling bins.
Proposal to end collections on February 1. A proposal to end the collection of Poll Tax debts from February 1 next year is contained within the Community Charge Debt (Scotland) Bill, which is published today.
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