Reshaping Care for Older People
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.
A quick and easy way to report fake goods online is being launched today (30 September 2014) by Highland Council's Trading Standards as part of their ongoing battle against product counterfeiting. Consumers or businesses can now report fake goods and those who are supplying them on the Council's website at: http://www.highland.gov.uk/counterfeits Trading Standards Manager, Gordon Robb explains: "Fake goods cheat consumers; can in some cases put their safety or health at risk; supports the criminal elements of our society and defrauds those who have invested time, money and their intellect in developing new products and brands.
Mark McGinty, a Highland Council Trading Standards Team Leader has been announced as the new Chairman of the Trading Standards Institute (TSI). Spending 22 years in local authority trading standards, Mark began his career in the Lothian region as a trainee assistant enforcement officer following brief spells as a student in the Fife and Tayside regions.
Still time to have say on Tain school consultation Around 80 members of the public turned out to a public meeting on the proposed new 3 - 18 school campus in Tain which would replace the existing Tain Royal Academy, Craighill and Knockbreck Primaries and St Duthus Special School. The meeting was held by The Highland on the evening of Monday 15 September at Tain Royal Academy.
You can find out more about the local services which Highland Council provides at a series of events across the Highlands, beginning on 1 October. Community Services is a new directorate of The Highland Council that delivers many of the Council's everyday services, with staff in regular contact with the people of the Highlands.
Highland Councillors have given the go ahead for a major public consultation to help prepare a new 20 year Local Development Plan for the Caithness and Sutherland area, to be known as CaSPlan. The Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee agreed the Main Issues Report which will be the first formal stage of preparing the new CaSPlan.
The next meeting of the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee of Highland council will be held in the newly refurbished town hall on Tuesday 23rd September 2014. the meeting starts at 10.30am and may last until 3.00pm depending on debates and presentations.
The Counting Officer for The Highland Council area has announced the total votes cast for each answer in the Scottish Independence Referendum. A total of 78,069 votes were cast for Yes and a total of 87,739 votes were cast for No.
Dalneigh and Columba Community Council have become the latest community to say "NO" to unwanted doorstep traders by establishing a Cold Call Control Zone. Residents in St Mungo Road, St Margaret's Road, St John's Avenue, St Mary's Avenue, St Andrew Drive and St Ninian Drive will be covered by the initiative which is facilitated by The Highland Councilâ€™s Trading Standards and supported by Police Scotland.
The Highland Council wishes to establish a framework agreement for Accommodation Services in the Highlands with suitably competent providers. The framework agreement would commence on 1 December 2014 until 30 November 2017 with an option to extend for a further 12 month period.
The Highland Counting Officer for the Scottish Independence Referendum and Police Scotland have appealed for a common sense approach to Referendum campaigners in Highland following the appearance of two large items on the rock face of the former Ballachulish Quarry in Lochaber. The items which included a large Saltire flag assumed to have been installed overnight on Saturday 6 September and a â€˜YES' poster on Monday 7 September were believed to have been placed there by a climber or climbers who drilled into the rock face and bolted the items to the rock.
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