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 renewing its call upon the UK Government to reinstate adequate coastal protection measures for the Highlands and Islands. Leader of the Council, Drew Hendry raised the matter at the Convention of the Highlands and Islands earlier this week, and asked for the support of the full council, strategic partners and the Island Councils, in asking the UK Government to reinstate an Emergency Towing Vessel in the Minches without further delay and to commit to extending the lease for the Emergency Towing Vessel based in Kirkwall.
A major public consultation has now started to help prepare a new 20 year Local Development Plan for the Caithness and Sutherland area, to be known as CaSPlan. The Main Issues Report which has now been published is the first formal stage of preparing the new CaSPlan.
Highland Council has agreed further investment in LED street lighting programme to cut carbon emissions and generate Â£35k per year. The Highland Council has agreed further investment in LED street lighting programme to cut carbon emissions, reduce energy consumption and generate savings of Â£35k per year.
The Highland Council has launched a consultation paper with detailed proposals for saving over Â£15 million towards a total budget cut of Â£64 million over the next five years. The Council has already achieved over Â£77.7m of cuts, including some through efficiency savings over the past 5 years.
Highland and Islands Councils have signed a multi-million pound contract on behalf of the Pathfinder North Partnership, led by The Highland Council, for the provision of Network Services starting in March 2016. The deal is part of the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) Framework agreement awarded to CAPITA in February 2014 and has a potential value of around Â£33m (over 7 years) across the five Partners for whom it is expected to generate significant cost savings.
Housing projects helping to support local construction sector and wider economy. Finance Secretary John Swinney has announced a deal to deliver new affordable homes for rent in Inverness, providing a boost to the local construction sector and wider economy.
The Highlands and Islands Convention was welcomed to the Merkinch Community Centre in Inverness today (Monday) by Councillor Drew Hendry, Leader of the Highland Council, who stressed the importance of ensuring a highly skilled workforce that would contribute to the continuing economic growth of the Highlands and Islands. He also highlighted the need for partners to be working together to deliver good quality services to local communities and to sustain and enable those communities in the Highlands and Islands to flourish.
The Highland Council's Trading Standards Officers are backing local Citizens Advice Bureaux in their campaign to ensure that Highland consumers get a fair deal over private car parking. Both agencies have seen an increase in consumer complaints about private parking in recent times, with a range of problems being encountered by motorists, as David MacKenzie, Team Leader at Highland Council Trading Standards explained: "Sometimes the problem is poor signage resulting in drivers being unaware of large penalty charges and the scale of such charges can also be controversial.
The Caithness District Partnership next meets in Wick on Friday 31 October 2014 and the agenda will feature an update on the progress made in the implementation of a Family Team for Caithness. The meeting will also feature updates from Bob Silverwood, the NHS Area for Caithness and Sutherland the Manager.of Scottish Ambulance Service will also deliver a presentation on Public Access Defibrillators.
The Leadership of Highland Council has turned up the heat on OFGEM and called for action against unfair surcharges which make electricity costs higher for consumers in the Highlands and Islands. The Highland Council Administration is responding in support of action being taken by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and will be writing to OFGEM to call for fairer energy charges in the Highlands and Islands.
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