Highland Life logo


Highland Life / News / NHS Highland / LOCALS LEARN MORE ABOUT PLANS TO REDESIGN HEALTH SERVICES IN WEST CAITHNESS

LOCALS LEARN MORE ABOUT PLANS TO REDESIGN HEALTH SERVICES IN WEST CAITHNESS

Issued: 19 Jul 2010

People interested in health services in West Caithness were given the opportunity to learn more about plans to redesign the service to make it better fit the needs of the local population at an open event in Thurso last week.

The inefficient use of beds at Dunbar Hospital and the need to develop services, such as community based rehabilitation, has prompted a review of services in West Caithness. Its main aim is to ensure that NHS Highland is delivering the services that local people need.

About 80 people attended a drop-in open day, which was held at Caithness Horizons on Thursday July 15 as part of a wider public engagement exercise.

Those attending the event were able to see displays and presentations on the various options under consideration and managers were on hand to answer their questions.

Caithness Locality General Manager, Pauline Craw, said she had been pleased with the interest shown.

“The people who came to the drop-in session were very interested in what we are doing and we hope we were able to clarify the situation for them.

“There will be some more open events in the future for the public to discuss the preferred option.”

The open day followed earlier work by a stakeholder group, which looked at a number of options. These included:-

·Closing some inpatient beds, developing rehabilitation services and retaining the Primary Care Emergency Centre (PCEC).

·Closing some inpatient beds, developing rehabilitation services and closing the PCEC.

·Closing some inpatient beds, developing rehabilitation services and operating the PCEC part time.

·Closing all inpatient beds, developing rehabilitation services and retaining the PCEC.

·Closing all inpatient beds, developing rehabilitation services and closing the PCEC.

·Closing all inpatient beds, developing rehabilitation services and operating a part time PCEC.

·Transferring the GP Out of Hours (OOH) service from Caithness General Hospital (CGH) to Dunbar.

·Transferring the Rehabilitation Unit from CGH to Dunbar.

Mrs Craw said the last two options had been rejected because they were unworkable and the preferred option was closing all inpatient beds, developing rehabilitation services and operating a part time PCEC when demand is greatest, which is between 8am and 8pm. The inpatient service would be transferred to Caithness General Hospital in Wick.

She added that the preferred option would enable North Highland Community Health Partnership to reinvest the money saved from the redesign in a better quality service that would be in line with Scottish Government Health Department directives and NHS Highland’s Quality Strategy.

However, she stressed that no decision had been made, nor would it be made until after the public engagement exercise concludes at the end of September this year.

Mrs Craw said: “We are aware that there have been concerns that we are planning to close Dunbar Hospital, but this is not the case.

“There is no plan to close the hospital. We are looking at how we can provide the care in a different way, including developing rehabilitation services for those in greatest need and services to help patients manage long term conditions, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Asthma, Diabetes and Chronic Heart Disease.”

A reference group has been set up to look at the health needs of local people and to consider the best way to redesign services to meet these needs in the future within the available resources.

The new group includes members of the former stakeholder group, more members of the local community and representatives of other groups and partner organisations. Its next meeting will be held tomorrow (Tuesday July 20).

Anyone who is interested in or involved in health services in West Caithness is invited to complete a questionnaire, which can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/s/caithnessserviceredesign

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