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.
Highland Councillors agreed a council tax increase of 3% which will mean an increase of £35.93 per annum on a Band D property. Overall, the budget gap of £15,146 million has been met by a package of savings which includes increasing Council Tax income by £3.448 million, increasing income by £3,059 million, setting a target of £2,250 million to be saved through Redesign and reducing expenditure by £5.1 million.
Redesign is about the Council being more open-minded to new ways of delivering services, more commercially-minded to raise income to support services and jobs across the region and being more community-minded, listening locally and supporting more community-run services. The Highland Council is seeking to release over £2.2 million in savings this year through redesign projects.
An election will take place for Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council on Wednesday 21 February 2018. The maximum permitted membership for the Community Council is 7 and as 8 nominations have been received, the 1349 electors in the community council area are being invited to cast their vote via a postal ballot.
Over three thousand people visited Inverness Town House last weekend to see for themselves the completion of interior works on the public historic Grade A listed building following recent renovations. Around 2,000 visitors passed through the Town House doors on Saturday 10th and another 1,200 people on Sunday 11th February.
Nomination packs for prospective candidates for the Caol and Mallaig Ward by-election are now available from The Highland Council's website. The by-election is being held following the sad death of Councillor Billy MacLachlan who was one of three Councillors representing Ward 11.
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time. It is not intended to imply that any individual route is entirely snow and ice free and drivers must be aware that conditions can change rapidly and make their own assessment of conditions for travelling.
In recognition that roads are a high priority for communities in Highland the Administration at The Highland Council will be putting forward a budget on Thursday (15 February) that protects the budget for local roads. Chair of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Allan Henderson said: "We have nearly 7,000 kilometres of roads in the Highlands and this network is vital to our rural communities and lifeline services.
The Highland Council is asking stakeholders and members of the public for feedback on new draft guidance aimed at ensuring high quality designs for traditional, replacement and new shopfronts. Not only does the draft Shopfront Design Guide: Planning Guidance provide advice to help promote good quality applications but it encourages developers and applicants to consider design at the earliest stage in their proposals.
The Highland Council Budget team have agreed their final budget proposals which will go to Council for agreement on 15 February 2018. Budget Leader Councillor Alister Mackinnon said: "We have done everything we can to protect frontline services and jobs in a good budget.
The timetable for the election for the return of a councillor for the Caol and Mallaig ward of The Highland Council has been announced today (Monday 5 February) The by-election is being held following the sad death of Councillor Billy MacLachlan who was one of three Councillors representing Ward 11. The other Ward members are Councillors Allan Henderson (Independent) and Ben Thompson (Independent) The Notice of Election and Nomination Form will be published on the Council's website www.highland.gov.uk (external link) on Tuesday 13 February.
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