Category Archives: Health

Regarding recent staff visits to Tigh a Rhuda

At the request of several concerned members of the local community we sent the following letter to the Chair of the Health and Social Care Partnership for Argyll and Bute:

Good afternoon,

I write on behalf of the Tiree Community Council in connection with concerns expressed to us by a number of residents regarding the fact that two staff (senior social workers, we are told) have on two occasions now travelled from the mainland to the island, spending significant time in the care home over a couple of days, apparently for the purpose of carrying out meetings with other staff, dealing with paperwork and such. There is great concern being expressed at the risk that this poses in terms of possible transmission of COVID-19 to the island, and particularly to the home place of some of our most at-risk residents, and why these staff meetings and paperwork could not be accomplished via electronic means, telephone, web conference and such in order to avoid that risk.

A previous attempt to query this matter following complaints being made to us about it resulted in a response that seemed to rest solely on an assertion that this was a matter for managers to decide, but we were left without any satisfactory explanation as to why the work could not have been delivered in an alternative, remote, way, A new wave of complaints has now come to us following a further visit. We realise there may well be very good reasons why this work absolutely had to be carried out in person, but the people contacting us seem to be firmly of the impression that it wasn’t about providing key worker support to care residents that couldn’t have been provided locally or remotely, but rather about administrative staffing matters.

Many of us here on the island have had to adapt to working fully remotely, unable to travel back and forth, and have done so knowing that this helps keep our community (which faces particular challenges and risks compared to the mainland) safe – so you will understand the concern about this when there is a question of it being truly essential, and given the current climate of well-justified fear for the well-being of our older family members this has led to understandably strong feelings on the subject being expressed to us.

We would be grateful if you could look into this and help either find an explanation that would reassure our community, or prompt a review of the necessity of what seems a risky activity which may be avoidable.

Yours sincerely,

Phyl Meyer, Secretary

Tiree Community Council

 

We have received the following response from Kieron Green, Policy Lead for Health and Social Care:

“Careful consideration is given before mainland based Health and Social Care Partnership staff travel to islands, including Tiree, to conduct essential work. All appropriate precautions are then taken in terms of physical distancing, accommodation and minimising interactions on the island when not working. Additionally for further assurance, and as the individuals involved are entering a care environment, they are being tested on a weekly basis for COVID-19.”

“Travel in this instance has been necessary due to the requirement to maintain the safe operation of Health and Social Care Partnership facilities, ensure high levels of care quality for residents and users of services, and give staff appropriate levels of management supervision and support. It has not been possible to facilitate this on a remote basis due to the nature of the work involved, including the need to directly observe the environment which care is provided in.”

Kind Regards,

Kieron Green

Councillor, Oban North and Lorn

Scottish Government looking for ideas of how to overcome the challenges of COVID-19

The First Minister announced a website set up by Scottish Government seeking input on a “framework for decision making” in response to COVID-19. Individual members of the public and community groups and organisations can submit ideas.

This includes proposed changes and options about:

  • staying at home
  • visiting other households
  • resuming care and support for those most affected by the current restrictions
  • businesses that have been subject to restrictions or closure
  • allowing pupils to return to school

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon emphasised the need for transparency when she launched the framework and invited the people of Scotland to engage in this conversation to help us take the next steps to navigate to a new normal.

Our first public meeting of the Community Council since this situation began was held on May 6th, and the deadline is on May 11th so there is little time left for TCC to develop a full response to this on behalf of the community – but we are looking at doing what we can. However we’d encourage anyone with thoughts to submit these as an individual:

The site can be found here: https://www.ideas.gov.scot/covid-19-a-framework-for-decision-making

Review of Argyll and Bute Integration Scheme (Social Care)

We have received the following communication from Argyll and Bute Council and NHS Highland inviting members of the community to input to a consultation on social care provisions in the area:

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You are invited, as one of a range of key stakeholders across Argyll and Bute, to have your say on updating the document that outlines how health and social care functions and services are provided locally.

In 2016, Argyll and Bute Council and NHS Highland brought all health and social care services together to form the Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP). The main purpose of integrating these services was to improve the wellbeing of people who use them, particularly those whose needs are complex and involve support from health and social care at the same time.

A Scheme of Integration was subsequently agreed in 2016 which provides information about which health and social care functions and services will be delivered by the HSCP. By law this must be reviewed every five years and submitted to the Scottish Government for approval.

The current scheme has recently been updated by the Council and NHS Highland and it is important that we also jointly consult with the public and our stakeholders to seek their views on any proposed changes and to consider all views expressed.

The consultation will run for a period of six weeks from 9 December 2019 to 17 January 2020. A copy of the revised scheme, together with a summary of the proposed changes can be viewed at https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/consultations/integration-scheme-review. Hard copies are also available in your local Customer Contact Centre, or by calling 01546 604325.

If you have any questions or comments please contact us at: integrationschemereview@argyll-bute.gov.uk by Friday 17 January 2020.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Cleland Sneddon Iain Stewart
Chief Executive Chief Executive
Argyll and Bute Council NHS Highland