Caithness District Partnership Focus On Review Of Adult Services
28th June 2012
The Caithness District Partnership, which will identify key issues and priorities governing the care of children and adults in the county, met for the first time earlier this week when it agreed that, as a first priority, it would support a review and re-design of services for adults in Caithness, with a particular focus on older adult care and support.
The meeting took place at the Pulteneytown People's Project Community Centre, Wick, when Colin Punler, an NHS Board Member from Thurso, was elected chairman. The Partnership will meet in public four times each year. It is the second of nine to be formed in the Highlands and comprises members of NHS Highland, The Highland Council, community representatives and voluntary and independent providers. The other pilot Partnership in operation is in Lochaber.
At the first meeting, Bob Silverwood, NHS Area Manager, explained that integration of health and social care presented a great opportunity to provide the public with better services, starting with a wide ranging review of adult services. He gave the example of people who remain in hospital longer than they need to due to lack of care capacity in the community, emphasising that it was vital that a more cohesive, joined up approach was required.
He said: "The work will focus on looking at the immediate needs of the service as well as for the future. Clearly it must involve service users, staff, communities, service providers and other interested parties. Together we need to explore all possibilities for designing safe and sustainable services to meet the needs of adults into the future."
Gill McVicar, NHS Director of Operations, North and West Highland, encouraged the Partnership to focus on needs and services rather than buildings. She said: "Most people want to stay in their own homes or in their communities if at all possible. I recognise that to do this there is a need to invest in services in the community. I appreciate there has been concerns about institutions in the past but can give an assurance that there will be a systematic approach to what services are required and where they should be based.
"It is crucial that users, carers, clinical and care staff are involved and there will be focus groups and events to allow that to happen. But it can't all be done through events and meetings. We need to develop trusting relationships and have good and quick lines of communications."
Councillor Bill Fernie, Wick, said: "The new District Partnership will allow us to look at Caithness issues here in Caithness bringing together the key people with an interest in adult and children's services."
The District Partnership will consider issues covering both Integrated Children's and Adult Services and is a key element of local engagement. The Partnership's role and remit is to:
Consider issues raised in relation to local service delivery;
Identify key local issues and priorities in relation to the delivery of strategy and policy;
Consider and comment on local performance; and
Consider the development and implementation of local initiatives.
The Leader of The Highland Council, Margaret Davidson has written to the Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Annabelle Ewing MSP, in relation to the recent press coverage on concerns raised about the handling of emergency calls in the Highlands and Islands. Councillor Davidson said: "It does raise concerns over the Government's decision to close the Inverness Fire control room and transfer responsibility for handling emergency calls to Dundee.
The deadline for commenting on The Highland Council's draft Landscape Appraisals to help in the consideration of future proposals for wind energy development is drawing near - but has been extended to 31 January 2017. Two landscape sensitivity appraisals are currently being consulted on: one for the Caithness study area and another covering The Black Isle, surrounding hills and Moray Firth Coast.
Highland Council's administrative offices will close at 4pm on 23 December 2016 and reopen on 4 January 2017. The Service Centre will close at 4pm on 23 December and open as normal on 28, 29 and 30 December (closing at 4pm on 30 December) Service Points will be on reduced opening hours.
Highland Council is reminding pupils, parents and carers how to find out if their local school is closed or school transport is affected in anticipation of Storm Barbara hitting the north west of Scotland. Information on school closures is uploaded to the Council's school closures website www.highland.gov.uk/schoolclosures from 7am each morning School closure messages can be heard on the ‘school closures information line' by phoning 0800 564 2272 (with a school PIN number) to get the latest pre-recorded message from the head teacher of r child's school.
Reacting to the Scottish Government's Budget Settlement for 2017-18, Budget Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Bill Fernie said:"Disappointingly, our worst predictions are realised in that there has been a real cash cut to councils of £350 million. The devil will be in the detail, but an early analysis equates this to a significant cut in the grant to our core budget.
Since the introduction of Decriminalised Parking at Highland Council in October, the demand for Inverness Parking Permits has increased dramatically. This has seen the number of applications and permits issues increase from around 80 per month, to an average of 210 per month in October and November.
Highland Council is introducing pay and display parking at its headquarters car park as part of its Decriminalised Parking Enforcement Schemes. Cllr Allan Henderson, Chair of the Council's Community Services Committee said: "This change has come from a savings proposal agreed by Council in the December 2014 budget for implementation in 2015/16 to save £20,000 per year.
Speaking after attending today's COSLA meeting, Leader of the Council, Margaret Davidson said: "The Highland Council’s services, along with other Local Authorities’, have been cut to the bone after years of real terms reduction in funding from the Scottish Government. Since 2010/11 the Council has made savings of £135m, with £39m in this year alone.
Nominations now open for Scottish Education Awards 2017. The search for the Highlands' brightest education stars is underway as nominations are open for the Scottish Education Awards 2017.
Members of The Highland Council will be asked to approve a proposed scheme to make workforce reductions at the Council meeting on 15 December. The Employee Early Release Scheme (EERS) is designed to make reductions in the council workforce in a way that is affordable and in line with the reductions in funding available for the 2017/18 budget.
[Printer Friendly Version]