Health and social care phone numbers for Caithness
19th March 2016
NHS Highland has created a handy list of telephone numbers to help improve access to healthcare services in Caithness - including a single point of contact number for community health and social care.
The information is given on a laminated double-sided A4 flyer with timely advice about the health board's services and the relevant telephone numbers for these and associated services.
The board has also produced a smaller credit card-sized form with the single point of contact number that covers referrals to local integrated healthcare teams: district nursing, social work, community occupational therapy, physiotherapy, community mental health and drug and alcohol, covering bases in Wick and Thurso.
Designed so that medical help, advice and support is only one call away, both the flyer and the small form can be picked up from local GP practices, service points, pharmacies and libraries.
The single point of contact number allows adults in Caithness to self-refer themselves or allows a carer or other health and social care professional they are already in touch with to call on their behalf.
Thurso GP Dr Alison Brooks said: "It’s exactly what people need. It’s easy to read and well laid out. It should help them a lot to know who to contact and what to do in an emergency.
“And it gives advice about the most appropriate way of delivering healthcare in the area, so it helps provide information that ensures our services are used to their full capacity."
“It also does away with the preconceived idea that their GP is the only person who can deal with their health problems. It will certainly take the pressure off the GP by allowing us to concentrate and prioritise on the people we need to see.”
Wick GP Dr Ewen Pearson added: “I think it is useful for patients to have all these available contact details, so that they are able to seek help and advice from the most appropriate health care professional and hopefully make sure they get the right level of care in the easiest way possible.”
Valerie Barker, a member of the Patients’ Council at Caithness General Hospital, said: “I received one of the shiny NHSH leaflets. I think it is excellent – it’s clear, it covers pretty well everything and the wipe-clean finish is practical and should ensure it doesn’t just go in the bin with the junk mail.
“It will be a handy sheet to refer to when I need a number or a contact for anything to do with health and social care.”
The new single point of contact telephone number for health and social care services in Caithness is 01955 606915. It can be reached Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am and 5pm.
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