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Highland Life / News / NHS Highland / Development of services for rehabilitation patients in Caithness

Development of services for rehabilitation patients in Caithness

Issued: 12 Aug 2010

NHS Highland is continuing to develop the ranges of services it provides in Caithness so that more people can be treated and cared for in their own homes.

Patients requiring rehabilitation and assessment in Caithness are at present admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Unit at Caithness General Hospital but patients’ needs have changed with a shift to more people being treated in the community or in their own homes and the staff and resources in the unit need to be used in a different way.

At a staff meeting on Monday 9th August the North Highland Community Health Partnership (CHP) announced the closure of seven of the 25 beds in the Queen Elizabeth Unit from September 1st 2010. Bed occupancy in the unit has varied with the average occupancy of just under 18 beds in recent years.

This gives us the opportunity to redesign the service to better meet the needs of local people and to contribute to the CHP’s savings target. A range of services will be developed with an emphasis on working with people in their own homes, minimising the length of time they have to stay in hospital and where appropriate alternatives are in place, avoiding hospital admission altogether.

Sheena Macleod, General Manager for North Highland CHP said: “Work is already progressing on keeping people out of hospital including falls prevention programmes, helping people to manage their own health and closer working between voluntary and other public sector services in the community.

“Medical, nursing and therapy staff are working together to develop a new model for the service which will be based in the unit.

“The focus will be on having the patient more involved in their own care and increasing their independence in their home setting.”

This work will support the national rehabilitation plans and is in line with work in other areas including the Cambusavie Unit in Sutherland.

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme