Dumfries & Galloway Health & Social Care

D&G Health & Social Care

Drop in for COVID-19 and flu vaccinations before Christmas

THE DUMFRIES and Galloway winter flu and COVID effort has reached thousands of people in the region already – and anyone eligible for a vaccine can get one before Christmas without an appointment.

Drop-in vaccination clinics are open now across Dumfries and Galloway (times and places are below) to anyone eligible for a free vaccine because they are over 50, at risk due to a medical condition, a registered carer, or a health or social care worker.

Those turning up at a drop-in clinic may have to queue if the clinic is busy, and should dress warmly.

Public health consultant Dr Nigel Calvert says: “We have had great success with the winter flu vaccination and COVID-19 booster programmes so far, but there are still some people in the region who have not yet had the vaccines they’re entitled to.

“The vaccination programme has only a few weeks more to run, and we are hoping that the drop-in clinics will allow many more people to protect themselves now that winter is almost here.

“Flu and COVID-19 can be serious, especially for older people and those with other health conditions, and it’s best to prepare before the holidays. Even if you aren’t worried about the health risks to yourself, if you catch flu or COVID-19 you could pass it on to a relative or friend who is more at risk, and they could become seriously ill.

“So if you drop in to one of the clinics soon for your jags, you’ll have the best possible protection against flu and COVID-19 in time for Christmas.”

Times and places of drop-in clinics

Monday 12th December
Castle Douglas Hospital Outpatients Dept09:15-16:00
Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall09:15-16:00
Annan Vaccine Centre09:15-16:00
Tuesday 13th December
Waverley Medical Centre09:15-16:00
Kirkcudbright Hospital09:15-15:00
Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall09:15-16:00
Thornhill Rehab Suite09:15-15:00
Moffat Hospital09:15-15:00
Wednesday 14th December
Newton Stewart Hospital09:15-15:00
Castle Douglas Hospital Outpatients Dept09:15-16:00
Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall09:15-16:00
Lockerbie Medical Centre09:15-15:00
Thursday 15th December
Waverley Medical Centre09:15-16:00
Kirkcudbright Hospital09:15-15:00
Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall09:15-16:00
Annan Vaccine Centre09:15-16:00
Friday 16th December
Newton Stewart Hospital09:15-15:00
Castle Douglas Hospital Outpatients Dept09:15-16:00
Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall09:15-16:00
Annan Vaccine Centre09:15-16:00
Monday 19th December
Waverley Medical Centre09:15-16:00
Castle Douglas Hospital Outpatients Dept09:15-16:00
Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall09:15-16:00
Annan Vaccine Centre09:15-16:00
Tuesday 20th December
Waverley Medical Centre09:15-16:00
Kirkcudbright Hospital09:15-15:00
Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall09:15-16:00
Moffat Hospital09:15-15:00
Wednesday 21st December
Newton Stewart Hospital09:15-15:00
Castle Douglas Hospital Outpatients Dept09:15-16:00
Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall09:15-16:00
Sanquhar Community Hall09:15-15:00
Annan Vaccine Centre09:15-16:00
Thursday 22nd December
Waverley Medical Centre09:15-16:00
Kirkcudbright Hospital09:15-15:00
Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall09:15-16:00
Annan Vaccine Centre09:15-16:00

Drop-in COVID-19 and flu vaccination clinics opening

THE DUMFRIES and Galloway winter flu and COVID vaccination effort has reached thousands of people in the region already – and from Monday 5th December anyone eligible for a vaccine will be able to get one without an appointment.

Drop-in vaccination clinics open across Dumfries and Galloway from Monday 5th December, to anyone eligible for a free vaccine because they are over 50, at risk due to a medical condition, a registered carer, or a health or social care worker.

The national booking portal is still open at https://vacs.nhs.scot/csp, and people are encouraged to use it to book an appointment if they can. Those turning up at a drop-in clinic may have to queue if the clinic is busy, and should dress warmly.

Public health consultant Dr Nigel Calvert says: “We have had great success with the winter flu vaccination and COVID-19 booster programmes so far, but there are still some people in the region who have not yet had the vaccines they’re entitled to.

“The vaccination programme has only a few weeks more to run, and we are hoping that the drop-in clinics will allow many more people to protect themselves now that winter is almost here.

“Flu and COVID-19 can be serious, especially for older people or those with other health conditions, and it’s best to prepare before the holidays. Even if you aren’t worried about the health risks to yourself, if you catch flu or COVID-19 you could pass it on to a relative or friend who is more at risk, and they could become seriously ill.

“So if you drop in to one of the clinics next week for your jags, you’ll have the best possible protection against flu and COVID-19 in time for Christmas.”

Times and places of drop-in clinics

Monday 5th December

Waverley Medical Centre 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30

Castle Douglas Hospital Outpatients Dept 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30

Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30

Annan Vaccine Centre 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30

Canonbie Village Hall 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-15.30

Tuesday 6th December

Waverley Medical Centre 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30

Kirkcudbright Hospital 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-15.30

Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30

Thornhill Rehab Suite 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-15.30

Moffat Hospital 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-15.30

Wednesday 7th December

Newton Stewart Hospital 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-15.30

Castle Douglas Hospital Outpatients Dept 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30

Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30

Thursday 8th December

Waverley Medical Centre 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30

Kirkcudbright Hospital 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-15.30

Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30

Thornhill Rehab Suite 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-15.30

Annan Vaccine Centre 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30

Friday 9th December

Newton Stewart Hospital* 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-15.30

Castle Douglas Hospital Outpatients Dept 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30

Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30

Langholm county car park 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-15.00

Saturday 10th December

Waverley Medical Centre 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30

Castle Douglas Hospital Outpatients Dept 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30

Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30

Langholm county car park 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-15.00

Sunday 11th December

Newton Stewart Hospital 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-15.30

Kirkcudbright Hospital 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-15.30

Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30

Sanquhar Community Hall 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-15.30

Annan Vaccine Centre 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30

Friday 9th December 

Newton Stewart Hospital 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-15.30 

Castle Douglas Hospital Outpatients Dept 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30 

Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30 

Langholm county car park 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-15.00 

Saturday 10th December 

Waverley Medical Centre 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30 

Castle Douglas Hospital Outpatients Dept 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30 

Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30 

Langholm county car park 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-15.00 

Sunday 11th December 

Newton Stewart Hospital 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-15.30 

Kirkcudbright Hospital 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-15.30 

Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30 

Sanquhar Community Hall 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-15.30 

Annan Vaccine Centre 09.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.30 

Monday 12th December 

Castle Douglas Hospital Outpatients Dept 09:15-16:00 

Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall 09:15-16:00 

Annan Vaccine Centre 09:15-16:00 

Tuesday 13th December 

Waverley Medical Centre 09:15-16:00 

Kirkcudbright Hospital 09:15-15:00 

Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall 09:15-16:00 

Thornhill Rehab Suite 09:15-15:00 

Moffat Hospital 09:15-15:00 

Wednesday 14th December 

Newton Stewart Hospital 09:15-15:00 

Castle Douglas Hospital Outpatients Dept 09:15-16:00 

Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall 09:15-16:00 

Lockerbie Medical Centre 09:15-15:00 

Thursday 15th December 

Waverley Medical Centre 09:15-16:00 

Kirkcudbright Hospital 09:15-15:00 

Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall 09:15-16:00 

Annan Vaccine Centre 09:15-16:00 

Friday 16th December 

Newton Stewart Hospital 09:15-15:00 

Castle Douglas Hospital Outpatients Dept 09:15-16:00 

Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall 09:15-16:00 

Annan Vaccine Centre 09:15-16:00 

Monday 19th December 

Waverley Medical Centre 09:15-16:00 

Castle Douglas Hospital Outpatients Dept 09:15-16:00 

Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall 09:15-16:00 

Annan Vaccine Centre 09:15-16:00 

Tuesday 20th December 

Waverley Medical Centre 09:15-16:00 

Kirkcudbright Hospital 09:15-15:00 

Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall 09:15-16:00 

Moffat Hospital 09:15-15:00 

Wednesday 21st December 

Newton Stewart Hospital 09:15-15:00 

Castle Doglas Hospital Outpatients Dept 09:15-16:00 

Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall 09:15-16:00 

Sanquhar Community Hall 09:15-15:00 

Annan Vaccine Centre 09:15-16:00 

Thursday 22nd December 

Waverley Medical Centre 09:15-16:00 

Kirkcudbright Hospital 09:15-15:00 

Vaccine Centre, Mountainhall 09:15-16:00 

Annan Vaccine Centre 09:15-16:00 

Region’s mental health youth forum in running for top award

A GROUP of young people in the region aged 11 to 25 are in the running for a top award in recognition for their work around speaking out on mental health issues.

The Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Youth Forum are volunteers from across Dumfries and Galloway who are either currently accessing services or have in the past.

And on November 24, they will be attending the Dumfries and Galloway Youth Awards at Easterbrook Hall in Dumfries as finalists in the Health and Wellbeing category.

Alison Telfer is CAMHS Participation Lead, and she said: “We are delighted for our CAMHS Youth Forum that they have been recognised for all of their excellent work and are finalists within the Dumfries and Galloway Youth Awards.

“Our forum members play an extremely important role in informing and shaping our approaches to delivery of services, as well as raising wider awareness around mental health issues affecting young people.”

The CAMHS Youth Forum was established online by NHS Dumfries and Galloway during COVID lockdown, and the young volunteers are all passionate about sharing their lived experiences with others, challenging attitudes and behaviours associated with mental health, using creative, fun and innovative ways to do this.

Erin is a member of the CAMHS Youth Forum, and she said: “Being part of the forum is such an amazing opportunity for me and all the young people involved.

“I have been able to share my own personal experiences and feelings to try and help better the service. I have gained a lot of confidence through this forum and can now confidently talk to new people, meet new friends and have realised that other people are passionate about the same things I am.

It’s amazing that us young people are able to be involved and talk to professionals about what we feel needs improvement within CAMHS as although we are the future of the service, we are also the present and we know what our generation needs right now.

“It is brilliant that we, as a forum, can help promote how important looking after our mental health is because in reality, everyone has mental health, some people just need more help with theirs and that’s totally okay! We need to show people that they are not alone and it is okay to reach out for help. We need to break the stigma.”

Rhianna is a member of the CAMHS Youth Forum, and she said: “This whole experience has been incredible, with so many more opportunities that we have been able to get involved in, speaking with policy makers, sharing our experiences within a national webinars, co-producing and designing resources and developing a new CAMHS website alongside health professionals.”

CAMHS are a specialist NHS community-based service throughout Dumfries and Galloway, which provides services for children and young people up to the age of 18 who are experiencing moderate to severe mental health difficulties.

CAMHS provide multi-disciplinary assessment, understanding and treatment for the difficulties that children, young people and families are experiencing.

If you would like to speak with a mental health professional or make a referral into CAMHS either contact: (01387) 244662 or email; dg.camhs-mail@nhs.scot

Actions to help region’s health and social care through a challenging winter 

A RANGE of actions by people can help support the region’s health and social care system – which is currently under massive pressure. 

Taking up free vaccinations against flu and COVID if you are eligible is step number one in reducing the numbers of people who will need help over the winter months. 

However, there is much more that can be done, from continued use of face coverings on NHS sites to offering flexibility and support around getting loved ones home from hospital. 

Nicole Hamlet is Deputy Chief Officer of Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership, and she said: “Very honestly, we’re in a very tough situation at the moment. 

“I don’t think we’ve never seen this sort of pressure on our system at this time of year – not even during the worst of COVID. 

“If we’re going to pull through this, it’s by everyone in the region recognising the seriousness of the situation and working together to get us through these winter months.” 

Ms Hamlet added: “Anyone aged 50 and above can now book in online for a free flu and COVID jag, by visiting https://vacs.nhs.scot/csp 

“Getting these boosters refreshes your body’s own defences, ready for an encounter with these viruses. 

“Even if you’ve already had flu or COVID, or if you’ve been vaccinated before, getting these boosters when you’re eligible is extremely important as it will help cut down on the rates and severity of illness.” 

Anyone who is visiting an NHS building is asked to wear a face covering. Wearing a face covering continues to be the expectation of both visitors and staff as we look to limit any spread of infection. 

Additionally, any visitor to an NHS site including the likes of hospitals is asked not to enter the building if they feel unwell with symptoms or flu or COVID.  

Ms Hamlet said: “Our request to keep wearing face coverings in NHS buildings and not to visit if unwell with symptoms of flu or COVID is again all about limiting the risk of infection, particularly at a time when services are already functioning under great strain. 

“People are likely aware that one of the biggest challenges our system faces is having enough carers to support people to get home, or continue living in their own home. 

“If you have a relative or loved one who is currently delayed in hospital due to a shortage of care packages, you can help by being as accommodating, flexible and supportive as possible when trying to get your loved one home. 

“Arrangements may not be ideal at this challenging time, but it’s not to anyone’s benefit if your loved one is spending time in a hospital bed when they could be at home. 

“We need to appreciate the many hours that unpaid Carers already provide, and the fact that without them our health and social care system would simply not be able to function. 

“We don’t want to add to the pressures already being faced by those individuals, but where families and friends can offer to do more this would be met with a very genuine appreciation. 

“In addition, we need to thank all the carers working tirelessly within social care and recognise the scale and value of the contribution they continue to make in the face of very significant challenge.” 

Anyone who requires emergency treatment is encourage to come forward to receive help.  

However, please note that the Emergency Department at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary and Galloway Community Hospital are for very pressing emergencies only. 

Great advice and support is available online at www.nhsinform.scot or by calling NHS24 on 111, while medical practices and pharmacies are a great source of information and help. 

Extremely challenging winter ahead for health and social care

AN EXTREMELY difficult and challenging winter lies ahead for health and social care within Dumfries and Galloway.

That is the warning from Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership, anticipating that current massive pressures will only continue to grow as we move into colder months.

Chief Officer Julie White said: “As we enter the autumn, our services are already under the sorts of pressure we might more typically expect in the deepest depths of winter.

“Over the summer we worked closely with our frontline teams to develop an ambitious plan that will help us recover from the challenges we faced throughout the pandemic. Our plan was approved by the NHS Board on Monday 3 October 2022 and sets out clear actions against six priority areas.

“These focus on how we will support our staff, improve recruitment and retention, recover and protect planned care, modernise unscheduled care, develop social care and improve the sustainability of our local system.

“However, even though we are already working to deliver against that plan, things are only likely to get more challenging as the weeks progress. And while I wish I could offer a more comforting outlook, I think that every one of us needs to be prepared for a very tough next six months.

“What will this mean for people in real terms?

“People should be aware that while we will be doing everything we can to treat those who have been waiting longest as part of our commitment to waiting times, further disruption is likely to the backlog of scheduled elective procedures as we see a continued high volume of people presenting with urgent, unscheduled and complex needs.

“Much of this disruption might be very last minute, because in every situation we will be working to provide these procedures until such time that unfolding circumstances dictate we are unable.

“If you have a health need, please assist us and those who are also in need by considering the best point to obtain support.

“In many non-emergency situations, visiting NHSInform.scot or calling NHS 24 on 111 can be a good first option.

“We’re conscious that people have been waiting a long time for procedures and appointments. Meanwhile, others have waiting to hear back for longer than they should in relation to concerns and complaints. We’re working to keep people updated and we appreciate continued patience.

“Within social care, we continue to face a very significant challenge in meeting the volume of need. Staff who provide care at home services are such a vital part of the whole health and social care system, and we simply don’t have enough of them.

“Similarly, residential care provided by independent providers within the partnership is another area of great challenge, as the volume of need continues to grow faster than our resources.

“And it would all be impossible without the thousands of unpaid Carers in our region. Their vital role needs to be recognised along with the very great pressures they will also be facing this winter.

“We face all of this amid a marked and growing increase in costs, with a recurring £20 million deficit within the Health and Social Care Partnership’s budget, and with the prospect of even greater financial challenges over the next three years.

“For the staff across health and social care, this will be an extremely challenging winter, following on from the stresses of the last three years which should already have been enough to break any system.

“We will continue to rely on our staff and their tireless, professional efforts to provide the highest quality care, but we must all be realistic to the challenges that we face as a region.”

Tests and masks still expected for visits to hospitals and care homes

ANYONE planning to visit a hospital or care home in Dumfries and Galloway will still be expected to first test themselves for COVID-19. 

Similarly, anyone visiting a health care setting or a care home will continue to be expected to wear a face mask if able to do so. 

Changes around testing in Scotland have seen the end of regular free asymptomatic testing via Lateral Flow Devices (LFD) for most people.  

However, free LFD kits are being provided nationally for groups including those visiting hospitals or care home. 

In order to obtain a free LFD kit for this purpose, visit the national NHS Inform website at www.nhsinform.scot or telephone 0800 0282816. 

Consultant in Public Health Dr Andrew Rideout said: “Visitors to hospitals and care homes are among certain groups where free tests continue to be made available, in order to protect high risk settings, support clinical care and for surveillance purposes. 

“Those groups also include health and social care workers, patients groups eligible for treatment, hospital patients, unpaid carers and people in prison. 

“Meanwhile, people are also still expected to wear a face mask when visiting a health care setting such as a hospital, a clinic or GP practice, or when visiting a care home.” 

A ‘stay at home’ message is being promoted from this Sunday for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 using an LFD.  

People who have symptoms of COVID-19 and who have a fever or are too unwell to carry out normal activities will also be asked to ‘stay at home’ while they are unwell or have a fever. They will no longer be advised to take a PCR test. 

Anyone who is unwell and needs further help should speak to their GP or should call NHS 24 by dialling 111. 

Full guidance on the changes taking effect from this Sunday May 1 can be found by visiting the website https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested/pages/changes-from-1-may-2022/ 

Call to help shape health and social care engagement strategy

VOICES from across Dumfries and Galloway are needed to establish a strategy aimed at ensuring everyone is encouraged and supported to shape approaches to health and social care.

A 14-week period of public consultation is now underway around Dumfries and Galloway Integration Joint Board’s (IJB) Draft Participation and Engagement Strategy for 2022/25.

Integration Joint Board Chair Laura Douglas said: “It is vital that the approaches which are taken around health and social care within Dumfries and Galloway are informed and shaped by the people within our region.

“The IJB has a responsibility for health and social care planning within the region, and a responsibility for overseeing how health and social care is provided.

“However, the way that health and social care is delivered must be shaped by everyone in Dumfries and Galloway – including the people delivering those services, the people who access them, their Carers, and their families.

“The IJB wants to make sure that everyone has the chance to be involved in developing these approaches, and that they are encouraged and supported to do so.”

To this end, a Draft Participation and Engagement Strategy for 2022/25 has been developed which aims to set out how approaches to participation and engagement are undertaken and improved over the next three years.

In its draft form, and informed by national and local guidance and engagement, the strategy has five goals:

  • Include engagement in all the work that we do to develop and deliver care and support.
  • People who deliver health and social care and support will feel able to engage with the people they support in an open and honest manner. They will ensure that the public has a say in all service planning, improvements and developments.
  • Listen to the widest possible range of people, so that everything that we do is influenced by their views.
  • Keep people well informed and help them when they want to give their views, so that they contribute to planning health and social care and support.
  • All engagement and consultation activities must be high-quality and reach a wide range of people.

Ms Douglas said: “We’d strongly encourage everyone to review the current draft version of the strategy, and to get involved in helping to shape it into a document which will be central to our approaches over the next three years.”

Consultation on the draft strategy is being undertaken on behalf of the IJB by Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership, and will conclude on 5 June 2022.

Anyone in the region will now be able to download the draft strategy and give their views through an online survey. A downloadable version of the survey for those who would prefer to print it out and reply.

An easy read version of the strategy and a British Sign Language version are now also available.

Printed copies of the survey and the strategy can be requested from the DGHSCP communications team at the address below.

Online events over the next two months will allow members of the public and other interested groups to make their views known:

 Seldom-heard groups: 26 April at 2 pm 

Community council members: 27 April at 2.30 pm

Public events: 4 May at 5.30 pm and 11 May at 5.30 pm

 Staff at NHS Dumfries and Galloway, Dumfries and Galloway Council, and elsewhere in the Health and Social Care Partnership: 5 May at 2 pm and 12 May at 2 pm

Anyone interested in attending any of these events should email dg.engagement@nhs.scot. Completed surveys, and any other comments on the draft strategy, can also be sent to dg.engagement@nhs.scot, or posted to: Communications Team, DGHSCP, Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, Cargenbridge, Dumfries DG2 8RX.

Grateful thanks for support shown for stretched health and social care system

GRATITUDE is being expressed for the support shown to the region’s health and social care system in the face of major challenges.


It follows a request to communities to take actions which can support the system, and for families and loved ones of hospital in-patients to help facilitate a speedy discharge.


Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership Chief Officer Julie White said: “We’re very grateful to everyone for the responses we’ve seen after we highlighted the very serious pressures being felt right across health and social care in Dumfries and Galloway.


“Even just being aware of the pressures and being prepared for and understanding our current limitations is of help and appreciated.”


Mrs White added: “As we noted, staffing pressures are a fundamental aspect of the current pressures right across our system.


“Although we have sizable numbers of people needing treatment in hospital, we simultaneously have seen significant increases in the number and complexity of people who require support to remain in their own homes and to return home from hospital. Recruitment challenges are limiting our ability to meet this increased need.


“This is despite recent success recruiting to Dumfries and Galloway Council’s in-house Care and Support Services (CASS), where the enlisting of 32 staff equated to a further 784 hours of care provision – supporting the care at home visits in our region which now total 80,000 every single week.


“As a consequence, you will hopefully be aware of the concentrated and ongoing recruitment activity aimed at bolstering our care at home services – supported by the increase in pay for this sector announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care.


“As that work continues, we are recruiting health and care support workers to help support care at home services, and we have multi-disciplinary teams reviewing people’s needs and identifying new and alternative ways of meeting those needs.


“We’re evolving our ways of working, developing models which will look to safely maximise hospital discharges and looking at options for how people requiring long-term care can be supported in the interim until that longer term arrangement is in place. Thanks to our Community Nursing Teams, our STARS team, social care teams and the staff deployed from our empty cottage hospitals, we are now supporting more than 100 people at home who would have otherwise been delayed in hospital awaiting packages of care.


“Huge credit and appreciation needs to be voiced for the many thousands of unpaid Carers in our region, as without them our health and social care systems would simply not be able to function. The pandemic has led to an increasing number of people becoming Carers as well as adding to the huge impact that caring has on those who were already caring.

“This current situation may mean that there could be added requests made of families and Carers at this time and we acknowledge the added pressure this may cause. It is important that Carers are considered as partners alongside our health and social care teams and made aware that there is support available to them via local organisations like D&G Carers Centre and others who can provide ongoing information, advice and support to anyone caring for a relative or friend.


“Technology continues to evolve, and we are looking to harness developments there which can help across all of health and social care. The use of technology to support people to be as independent as possible at home will be a key feature of our work this winter.


“Meanwhile, we are reconfiguring our approaches so that we have Mountainhall Treatment Centre now supporting the flow of patients out of DGRI, and staff being deployed to where they can help people to safely return to their homes as soon as possible – which is the central ethos of our Home Teams way of working across our communities.

“And very significantly, work is taking place with the region’s third sector partners around the role they currently, and could in future, play in supporting people to live in their own homes. I am also very grateful to our Police Scotland colleagues and our Scottish Fire and Rescue Service colleagues who are offering their support to help with things such as welfare checks on our most vulnerable people, and the ongoing vital work carried out by the Scottish Ambulance Service.”


All of these actions are being supported by an increase in funding received from the Scottish Government.

However, Mrs White warns that money in itself is not the solution to the challenges still weighing very heavily across the region’s health and social care system.


Mrs White said: “The bottom line is that this is about people. It’s about increases in the number of people in our region who need treatment and support, as our population continues to age.

“It’s also about challenges in finding the staff and volunteers from our working age populations to meet those needs.


“And it’s about how everyone accesses health and social care, how we maximise the existing resources, and how we help look after ourselves and each other to try and make certain that our systems work to ensure everyone gets the right level of care, in the right place, at the right time.”

‘Serious’ situation in region’s health and social care sparks community call

A VERY serious situation now exists across the health and social care system in Dumfries and Galloway – currently experiencing the greatest pressures in living memory. 

Direct requests are now being made to families and loved ones of hospital in-patients to provide whatever support they can to facilitate a speedy discharge, and help address major pressures. 

Julie White is Chief Officer of the Health and Social Care Partnership and Chief Operating Officer of NHS Dumfries and Galloway, and she said: “We are in an unprecedented situation. 

“Never in the living memory of health and social care services in Dumfries and Galloway have we been faced with such pressures. Not with the move to the new DGRI back in 2017, not in the worst of any winters… this is a whole new level of pressure. 

“And we can’t promise that it’s not going to get any worse. 

“Our fundamental issue at the moment is the volume of people who genuinely require our help and support and finite staffing resource available to meet those needs. We are doing our best to recruit more staff to support us but the pressure is immediate. 

“So today we are not just looking for the ongoing support of our incredible staff and volunteers, but also from our communities. 

“To families and friends of loved ones currently in our care, anything you can possibly do to help support the return of that person to their home environment will assist us in ensuring we are then able to help others. 

“Get in touch with our teams, guide our approaches, suggest ways in which we can accelerate their return home. 

“For the wider community, anything you can do to help support us at this time will be met with immense appreciation. Help us by following guidance which sets out where to seek the most appropriate source of help if needed, but, if it is needed, please do come forward. Please continue to be tolerant and understanding as we make some really difficult decisions to manage this unprecedented demand. 

“To be clear, we will always be here to provide treatment and care – but the limits of what we are able to do continue to be stretched to new degrees, and I am extremely concerned about how much further these resources can stretch.  

“As noted, we can’t guarantee that this current situation won’t worsen still, but right now we want everyone to understand just how difficult things are, to help in any way they can, and ask them to be as supportive and polite as possible to the amazing staff and volunteers who remain professional and caring – no matter how difficult and testing the circumstances.”  

Supporting Carers in Dumfries and Galloway – Carers Act Funding 2021/22

Supporting Carers is a priority for the Dumfries and Galloway Integration Joint Board and one of the nine national health and wellbeing outcomes.

A funding opportunity to support Carers in the region is now available as a result of additional funding for Carers from the Scottish Government. There remains over £100,000 of Carers Act Funding for Dumfries and Galloway for the financial year 2021/22 currently unallocated. This funding is available on both a recurring and non-recurring basis and the Carers Programme Board is inviting proposals for the use of these monies.

Proposals might be in relation to

  • testing change
  • finding new ways to use recurring funding
  • identifying short breaks for Carers

Submission of application(s)   

Carers Act Funding Application Form

Proposals should be submitted via the above application form to dg.spcp@nhs.scot. The closing date for proposals to be received is 5pm on Thursday 6 December 2021.

Criteria for Application 

The aims and outcomes of the proposal must clearly demonstrate improvements to the lived experience of Carers in Dumfries and Galloway (please see criteria in appendix one)

Decision Process and Timescale 

On 16 December 2021 the Carers Programme Board will make decisions on those proposals seeking non-recurring funding.  They will also approve recommendations in relation to proposals seeking recurring funding to go forward to the Integration Joint board in early 2022. 

Proposal leads will be informed of the outcomes the Carers Programme Board discussion and IJB meetings.  

Monitoring and Evaluation 

All funded projects will be required to deliver regular data in relation to agreed proposal measures to the Carers Programme Board. 

Appendix One – Criteria 

The funding panel will consider applications against the following criteria

  • Strategic Fit – How fits with local and national strategy, policy and guidance such as IJB Strategic Commissioning Plan and Carers Act 
  • Effectiveness – How the needs of Carers will be met. The aims and expected outcomes and how these will be evaluated 
  • Deliverability – Description of the availability of resources (e.g. workforce, premises, equipment)  
  • Sustainability – Description of an exit strategy or sustainability plan 
  • Affordability – Outline of the cost and an assessment of the value for money 
  • Risk – Assessment of the risk of progressing or not progressing the proposal 

Each proposal will be scored against each criterion. These scores will be aggregated to determine an overall score. Each criterion will have the same weighting.