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Skye and Lochalsh Reference Group Update

Issued: 15 Sep 2010

The meeting opened with a presentation on the challenges facing the health service as the needs of the population change. Dr Dennis Tracy, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, highlighted the increasing proportion of older people in the community, and the rising number of people living with long term conditions such as diabetes, dementia, heart disease, mental health problems, cancer.

Gillian Pincock, Integrated Community Team Leader, then outlined the changing nature of nursing in the community. Nurses are gradually adapting their roles to support the growing number of patients who need help to manage their long term conditions.

Roddy Murray, Chairman of Sleat Community Council and Chair of the Reference Group said “It is quite clear that there are real challenges facing the NHS and the local communities. Members of the Reference Group welcome the efforts of local staff to respond to these challenges. However, none of this is easy and we will be working closely to ensure that any changes are in the best interests of patients.”

The Reference Group had confirmation that there are no plans to amalgamate the Broadford and Sleat GP practices. Locality General Manager Alison Phimister said
“I understand that we have created confusion by talking about amalgamation when what we meant is more accurately called collaboration. This has now been recognised, and I apologise to the Reference Group and to local people for the concern this has caused.”

The Broadford Sleat Collaborative Working Group reported on some information gathering they are doing. They want to get a better understanding of how patients currently use the services in the two practices, and how the practice teams work. This will help identify ideas to improve the services offered to patients through some joint working between the staff in both practices.

Clinical Services Manager Kate Earnshaw said: “One of our main aims is to be able to offer patients in both practices speedy appointments, and to make sure they get to the right clinical practitioner for their individual needs. We think that bringing in some more flexible working between the GPs and staff will help us to achieve this for patients in both practices.”

The Broadford Sleat Collaborative Working Group will continue their analysis and report back to the Reference Group in December 2010.

A separate group is being set up to look at how this type of collaborative working might be extended across the four practices in Broadford, Sleat, Carbost and Glenelg. These are salaried practices where the GPs and staff are all employed by NHS Highland. The Salaried Practices Working Group is due to meet shortly.

Reference Group members took part in two workshops during the summer, and have developed an action plan for Skye and Lochalsh. The six topics in the action plan are Community Services development, Better Integration of Health and Local Authority, Local Treatment Options, Transport Issues, NHS 24 and Unscheduled (unplanned) Care, Hospitals Development.

Locality General Manager Alison Phimister said “These topics are all related, but we need to tackle them in manageable chunks. They will all report to the Reference Group which will have an overview of the bigger picture across Skye and Lochalsh.”

The Reference Group was asked to identify members for working groups to review and redesign of the Out of Hours (OOH) service in Skye and Lochalsh, and to tackle issues at Broadford Hospital following Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI) requirements.

The Reference Group meets again in December.

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