Caithness District Partnership Focus On Review Of Adult Services
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.
Trading Standards Officers at The Highland Council are reminding businesses to be wary of making donations to telephone cold-callers looking for contributions to seemingly good causes. Reports have come in of Highland businesses being targeted by publishing firms seeking payments for educational publications in return for the business being named as a contributor.
The Highland Councilís snow clearing / gritting route policies and area maps are online for 2013/14 at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting. Road condition and gritting treatment reports by The Highland Councilís, Transport, Environmental and Community Services for Thursday 5 December 2013 are as follows: Caithness, South Sutherland and East Ross U2126 Oykel Bailley Bridge Road closed due to flooding.
The Highland Council and Police Scotland are to work together to ensure parking management is maintained in the Highlands when the traffic warden service Ė currently provided by the police - ends. Police Scotland have given notice of the completion of their phased withdrawal from the service from 3 February, next year.
Today (5 December 2013) 56 schools, 7 Service Points and council offices were closed due to lack of power, bad weather or loss of water. There were issues with the Councilís website and school closures online which are being investigated.
Currently firms are contacting businesses asking for support for an educational programme on cyber bullying. The line is that councils have cut back on their funding and they can offer help to classes in your local school if you donate to the programme.
Mr Neil Gillies, The Highland Councilís Director of Transport Environmental and Community Services, has announced his decision to retire from the Council, with effect from the end of January, next year. Mr Gillies joined the former Highland Regional Council in 1978 and worked on a wide range of civil engineering projects including roads, bridges, harbours and coast protection works, and road maintenance.
The by-election for a councillor to represent the Landward Caithness Ward (No 4) on The Highland Council has been won by Matthew Reiss, who will join the Independent Group on the Council Mr Reiss was one of five candidates who contested the vacancy, created by the resignation of Alex MacLeod. He joins Councillors David Bremner (Independent), Willie Mackay (Independent) and Gillian Coghill (Independent) in representing the Landward Caithness Ward.
The Highland Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) has been successful in securing further funding to support coastal communities as part of the European Fisheries Fund Axis 4 programme. There is now over £200,000 still available to assist projects which contribute to the sustainable development of fisheries areas around the Highlands.
A key piece of work to maximise the onshore benefits in Caithness and North Sutherland from the anticipated upsurge of marine renewables has been updated to highlight progress already made and to set new targets for the year ahead. The North Highland Onshore Vision was produced by The Highland Council in 2011 to support the development of marine renewable energy developments.
ďThe North Highlands are ready for winterĒ was the message given at the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee yesterday (18 November 2014) with staff, vehicles and a plentiful supply of salt in place to treat roads and footpaths over the coming winter months. The Highland Council has increased its winter maintenance budget to £5.6 million this year and has introducing an improved service with 45,500 tonnes of salt in storage in readiness for winter.
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