Dumfries & Galloway Health & Social Care


Consultation taking place on four cottage hospitals

Consultation is about to take place on how to make best use of four of Dumfries and Galloway’s cottage hospitals – running from today until 18 August 2024.

Options have been developed through engagement with stakeholders for the cottage hospitals in Moffat, Thornhill, Kirkcudbright and Newton Stewart, and these are now the basis of the consultation.

Ultimately, the consultation outcomes will be brought to Dumfries and Galloway Integration Joint Board, who will make any decisions on their future roles.

There are a variety of ways to take part – including in-person drop-in sessions taking place across the region, virtual consultation sessions, and a consultation document which can be completed online.

All materials including the online consultation document and the options appraisals report can now be found at the website https://dghscp.co.uk/rcrp-consultation/

It’s very important that everyone takes part and has their say, so please get involved.

In-person drop-in consultation events are as follows:

27 May 2024 Mon The Bridge, Dumfries 3-7pm
30 May 2024 Thu Moffat Town Hall 3-7pm
04 June 2024 Tue Castle Douglas Town Hall 3-7pm
05 June 2024 Wed Kirkcudbright Parish Church 3-7pm
10 June 2024 Mon Buccleuch Centre, Langholm 3-7pm
11 June 2024 Tue Lockerbie Town Hall 3.30-7.30pm
12 June 2024 Wed Thornhill Community Centre 3-7pm
17 June 2024 Mon Richard Greenhow Centre, Gretna 3-7pm
20 June 2024 Thu McMillan Hall, Newton Stewart 3-7pm
24 June 2024 Mon Victoria Hall, Annan 3.30-7.30pm
26 June 2024 Wed Millennium Centre, Stranraer 3-7pm
27 June 2024 Thu Sanquhar Community Centre 3-7pm
02 July 2024 Tue Dalbeattie Town Hall 3-7pm
04 July 2024 Thu St Ninian’s Hall, Isle of Whithorn 10am-1pm
04 July 2024 Thu New Town Hall, Whithorn 3-7pm
24 July 2024 Wed Online session 3-4pm
29 July 2024 Mon Online session 2-3pm

IJB okays consultation on options for care in region’s communities

OPTIONS for providing care in communities across Dumfries and Galloway are to be written up and assessed – in the next stage of the Right Care, Right Place programme.

On Tuesday, members of the Integration Joint Board (IJB) agreed plans to advance the work focused on the care which does not require the services of an acute facility and is not delivered in someone’s own home.

IJB Chairman Andy McFarlane said: “A great deal of work has taken place within Right Care, Right Place, looking at the provision of care, gathering views and insights, and looking at future models.

“With our region’s changing demographics and increasingly complex care needs, we know that we need to adapt our approaches in order to best serve our communities – now, and over the longer term.

“Last year, Right Care, Right Place gathered a huge amount of valuable insight and understanding from local stakeholders, including public and staff.

“In recent weeks, the team have been undertaking focused workshop sessions with stakeholders to take all that we’d learned and start planning, in real terms, how we can adapt to meet the care needs in our communities.

“This takes in everything from the roles played by our care homes to the services embedded in our cottage hospitals.

“A range of options for each of our eight Home Teams areas has been identified. And yesterday we agreed the next stage – to work with stakeholders to assess and shortlist the options, taking the most viable approaches out for public consultation.

“This consultation is expected to begin later in the spring, and we’ll be encouraging everyone to have their say.

“We are working to ensure that, by September, the Board have the necessary information to make the decisions that will provide the best outcomes for all involved, and begin implementing models of care that are best placed to meet the needs of communities both in the short term, and for years to come.”

Full details on the paper to IJB on 5th March 2023 can be found by visiting: https://dghscp.co.uk/integration-joint-board/integration-joint-board-meetings/

maternity consultation

A CALL is being made for everyone to have their say on two options for the future of maternity services in Wigtownshire – as consultation gets underway.

A series of in-person events and an online survey will set out the options to provide a birthing service for pre-planned, ‘low-risk’ births.

These represent around a quarter of all pregnancies in Wigtownshire.

Lyn Durrant is General Manager for Women, Children and Sexual Health, and she said: “We’re very keen to encourage and support everyone in Wigtownshire to provide their response to this formal consultation on birthing services.

“A full programme of engagement begins today, Monday November 20.

“We’d invite everyone to have their say, to help spread the word to friends and neighbours, and encourage the fullest participation – as the approach which emerges from this will serve Wigtownshire for years to come.”

Engagement earlier in the year gathered the thoughts of stakeholders including service users and staff.

The work took place under the direction of independent chairs, and the findings were used to develop several different options for ‘intrapartum’ birthing services.

After the options were scored, two shared first place.

One was for the current arrangements, providing only for low-risk home births.

The second option would allow pre-planned births within Galloway Community Hospital, but only for the same relatively small number of low-risk births and with the same level of support provided for home births.

This second option was narrowly preferred by the independent chairs when the scores by local professional NHS staff were excluded.

Feeling there was a lack of a decisive outcome, and with no proposals or options having yet been taken out for the public to consider, a recommendation was agreed by a sub-committee of the Integration Joint Board that two options be taken out for formal consultation.

Lyn Durrant said: “Just to be clear, and contrary to some reporting, neither of these options would represent a full birthing service in Wigtownshire.

“High risk pregnancies have always been advised to take place in Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, and this would remain the advice.

“It’s important that everybody takes the time to understand all the considerations here, including the fact that both options would only be for low-risk pregnancies and that this is about 23 per cent of all pregnancies in the area.”

The consultation is set to run into February.

Once it has concluded, independent agency Sleeping Giants will produced a thematic analysis of what has come out of the consultation.

This independent report will then be used to help develop a recommendation which will be brought to Dumfries and Galloway Integration Joint Board.

Full details and the online survey are available now at the website https://dghscp.co.uk/maternity-consultation/

Vital new service for people affected by cancer comes to Dumfries and Galloway

A new service to ensure people living with cancer and their families are offered emotional, practical and financial support was launched in Dumfries and Galloway this week (1st November) as part of a successful model spreading around Scotland.

Macmillan Cancer Support, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership and Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway are working with a range of partners to make sure people across Dumfries and Galloway can access all the help they need – by making just one phone call.

The Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey service is a tried and tested model which provides one to one, tailored support for people affected by cancer and reduces pressure on health services. It is already available in many parts of Scotland, and now the people of Dumfries and Galloway can feel its positive impacts.

Anyone who is newly diagnosed with cancer in the area will either hear about the service from their hospital cancer team or a letter and will be offered a meeting with a link worker. The link worker will then help the person access a wide range of non clinical support that ranges from benefits advice, emotional support, to help at home or other practical needs.

There are around 100 people diagnosed with cancer each month and approximately 1200 people living with cancer across Dumfries and Galloway. By 2030, one in two of us can expect to be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lives.

While it’s good news that advances in treatment mean that more people than ever are surviving, it also means that people living with cancer are living longer, often with long-term effects of treatment or other health conditions that have an enormous impact on health, wellbeing and independence. Many of them don’t know where to go for help in coping with the non-medical effects of the illness.

John Lytham from Dumfries, who was referred to the service after his diagnosis, said: “I was really down in the dumps, I must admit. My whole world collapsed. It was actually my clinical nurse Julie Baty who referred me to the Macmillan Improving Cancer Journey and my daughter Stephanie also made the referral.

“Julie McClelland, my link worker, was soon on the phone and she was very cheery and made an appointment to come out and talk about the cancer. She explained everything to me, made me feel relaxed, and she made me aware straight away that in no way would I be alone on my cancer journey. She told me: ‘We’re here to support you all the way.’

“Overall they really did help me. After meetings with Julie she would always phone up, chasing blue badges, financial support, all sorts of different things. It really is invaluable because it opens up new avenues. I would definitely recommend anyone diagnosed to go to Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey.”

Macmillan’s Head of Partnerships for Scotland & Northern Ireland Janice Preston said:

“Cancer has a huge impact on every aspect of people’s lives and many people tell us they don’t know where to turn for help. This new service should make sure everyone with cancer and their families and carers in Dumfries and Galloway have someone to call on for help. Improving the Cancer Journey practitioners will help individuals to identify their needs and access expert support, from benefits advice to emotional support – whatever they might need. We hope this service will transform cancer support in Dumfries and Galloway.

It’s thanks to the continued support from people locally, who fundraise for us and donate so generously, that we are able to fund this vital new service. With their help we can make a huge difference to the lives of people affected by cancer in Dumfries and Galloway.”

Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership chief officer Julie White said: “A cancer diagnosis can be a concerning and unsettling event in someone’s life and many people will be left with questions or a need for very practical advice and support.

“The programme being implemented in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support aims to help meet this need by connecting people to the wide range of help which is available.

“Whether it’s advice around benefits, securing practical help at home, or identifying some emotional support, this programme will deliver a real package of support at a time when many people will feel they need it the most.

“We look forward to seeing the benefits the programme will deliver over coming months.”

The project is open to everyone aged 18 and over living with cancer regardless of their cancer type or where they live in Dumfries and Galloway. To find out more about the Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey service call 07977 171837 or email dg.icj@nhs.scot


For further media information please contact:

DGHSCP communications team: alexander.campbell5@nhs.scot or call 07932 745130

About Macmillan

At Macmillan, we give people with cancer everything we’ve got. If you’re diagnosed, your worries are our worries. We will move mountains to help you live life as fully as you can.

And we don’t stop there. We’re going all out to find ever better ways to help people with cancer, helping to bring forward the day when everyone gets life-transforming support from day one.

We’ll do whatever it takes. For information, support or just someone to talk to, call 0808 808 00 00 or visit macmillan.org.uk

DGHSCP chief officer Julie White addressing the launch event

Draft Integration Scheme published

The Integration Scheme for Dumfries and Galloway has been reviewed, revised and updated. This is a draft document until 2nd December 2023 to give people a further opportunity to provide comments and/or suggest changes.

After this time, this will become a final draft document and submitted to NHS Dumfries and Galloway Board and Dumfries and Galloway Council for approval for submission to Scottish Ministers. 

Once agreed by Scottish Ministers, the document will become the Integration Scheme for Dumfries and Galloway.

Please contact Vicky Freeman, Strategic Policy Lead with your  comments at vicky.freeman2@nhs.scot by 2nd December 2023

As this is a draft document at this time, it should be noted that it is still subject to some minor changes and alterations.

Please click here to view the Draft Integration Scheme:


Work Experience 2023

DOZENS of pupils from across the region have been offered a taste of life working in health and social care.

A total of 91 pupils took part in Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Partnership’s work experience week from 25th to 29th September.

Medicine, laboratory science, Care, IT and estates were just some of the areas where the S4 to S6 pupils were working – getting to take on work themselves, and sit in on everything from tooth extractions to surgeries.

Freya Pardoe from Lockerbie Academy was one of seven pupils who were assigned medicine, and she said: “I thought my work experience was phenomenal.

“I had the absolute best time, I was so thankful to everyone I worked with, and it’s confirmed to me that medicine is the path that I want to take in my career.”

Medical Director Dr Kenneth Donaldson was one of the senior managers from the Partnership who attended an event at The Bridge on the Friday afternoon where pupils gave presentations on what they had experienced and learned over the course of the week.

Speaking at the event, Dr Donaldson said: “It’s been a fantastic afternoon, just hearing the experience of lots of school students – and in particular for me hearing from those who were doing the medical block.

“We know there is a lot of school students out there who might be thinking about doing medicine but are just not sure, and this opportunity to actually see what it offers, and the different range, is just invaluable.

“We’re really keen that we get people locally who are getting into medical school. Obviously, our hope is that they might come back to Dumfries and Galloway in the future because we really want to boost our recruitment number, and I see this as a very good start for that – so it’s been a very encouraging afternoon.”

Many of the pupils who took part in the week noted their surprise at the very wide breadth of roles which feature in the delivery of health and social care.

Sharon Williams from Dumfries Academy was among the block of pupils working in administration within general practice, and she said: “Before doing this programme I always thought that the main roles in the hospital were just the doctors and the nurses – I never really appreciated the rest of the staff.”

Similarly, Luka Stores from Wallace Hall Academy described the estates team as ‘unsung heroes’.

He said: “We went to DGRI, Mountainhall, we had a few jobs at Annan and Lochmaben. We had some small jobs, like hanging a picture of Major Tom in Annan, and we went about DGRI looking at the generators and the air handling units. It was a mix of everything, and really good.”

He added: “The estates department, nobody really speaks about it, but it’s actually really interesting how much work they do and how little they’re recognised.”

Other pupils were placed with health care support workers within the community, within the dental centre, within Human Resources, IT, Administration, Home Teams, Medical Physics, Recruitment and Support Services, and alongside pharmacists, ophthalmologists, public health workers, radiologists, practice educators, nurses and allied health professionals such as physiotherapists, speech therapists and occupational therapists.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway Workforce Manager Vic McDade said: “We’ve had yet another great work experience week, which has allowed pupils an insight into the very many and varied careers which exist within health and social care.

“Hopefully this week gave them a taste of what life might be like after school, and the very many fantastic and varied career opportunities the NHS can offer them.

“And with a bit of luck, a good number of the pupils who we’ve welcomed will go to choose a career within health and social care – and they’ll perhaps go on to work in those roles within Dumfries and Galloway.

“I’d like to thank everyone who took part, and the schools who support this. I’d also like to thank our amazing staff for helping to make these young people feel welcomed and appreciated as they’ve got involved in so many areas of our work.”

DGHSCP Intrapreneurship Programme

DGHSCP Intrapreneurship Programme

Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership (DGHSCP) are delighted to launch an exciting new programme that we believe can make a real difference for local people and how we provide care and support.

Applications are now open for the Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership Intrapreneurship Programme, delivered in partnership with The Lens.

‘Enabling people to live well at home for longer’ is an ambition we all share and we are delighted to announce that DGHSCP is partnering with The Lens on a second Intrapreneurship Programme with the hopes to continue transformation across all areas of our health and social care system.

To learn more about the vision of the Programme, hear from David Rowland, Director of Strategic Planning & Transformation.

An investment fund of £50k was committed for the pilot Programme earlier in the year where five teams received investment to deliver their ideas after pitching at an Investment Day. To find out more about the day, watch the video here.

Launching today, the Programme will build intrapreneurial capability and capacity across DGHSCP and is a fantastic opportunity for professional and skills development. Those who participate will: develop business development and innovation skills, confidence, and leadership capabilities.

We know that it is often the people closest to the problem who have the best ideas. If you’ve got an idea that will enable people to live well at home for longer, DGHSCP would like to hear from you! Apply for the programme to have a chance at securing investment for your idea.

How to apply and who can get involved

Applications are now open and will close on the 21st November 2023.

You can find information on the application process, the application form and more details about the Programme here.

It is often the people closest to the problem have the best ideas. The Programme is open to all people who deliver health and social care and support, including unpaid Carers, third sector and other sector organisations.

Moving forward

I’m sure you all share our excitement as we take this significant step towards making our vision a reality.

This is a unique, exciting opportunity for you to make a real difference to the lives of the people of Dumfries and Galloway, and we look forward to hearing your ideas over the coming weeks.

If you have any questions at this stage, please do not hesitate to contact Jenny Coxon, Programme Manager at The Lens, who would be delighted to assist via hello@lensperspectives.org.uk

Actions agreed to address bed-based intermediate care needs

ACTIONS to address the region’s bed-based intermediate care needs were agreed at today’s meeting of Dumfries and Galloway Integration Joint Board (IJB). 

Members agreed a flexible model for some beds in settings such as care homes, along with proposals to work with communities on plans for how facilities, such as cottage hospitals, will play a role in meeting health and social care needs in the future. 

IJB chairman Andy McFarlane said: “As we plan for the future, it is very clear that we face a massive challenge in meeting the increasingly complex needs of our population. 

“Continuing with the existing approach to bed-based care which sits between the two acute hospitals and people are able to manage independently in their own home is not going to work. 

“We know we have to adapt, and make strategic use of all our available resources in order to provide the treatment and care our population will require over the next 15 to 20 years. 

“I’m very pleased, therefore, that the report which came to the IJB today provides us with the best way forward, working together with our communities to develop an approach that best meets their needs.” 

The Right Care, Right Place report results from extensive community engagement earlier in the year which was then followed by 12 weeks of formal public consultation in the summer focused on four areas: 

  • The findings of the Right Care, Right Place: Intermediate Care engagement programme earlier in the year 

  • A description of how intermediate care is delivered, and the forecast of what will be required in future  
  • The proposal to introduce a flexible approach to intermediate care, to allow bed capacity to be allocated to different roles depending on demand 
  • Ideas on how intermediate care should be delivered in each local area, over three timescales – 1-2 years, 5 years and 10-15 years  

Director of Strategic Planning and Transformation David Rowland said: “We’re extremely grateful to everyone who took part in Right Care, Right Place. 

“During the consultation we heard a strong and clear message from people across the region that they want to see bed-based palliative and end of life care delivered within their local communities as a matter of priority and that we also need to make provision for local step-up and step-down care.   

“The approach agreed at IJB today means we can start implementing a flexible approach to bed usage.  

“We will now be working closely with local care home owners to support them to expand capacity to deliver bed-based intermediate care within local communities. 

“We will also now be looking to build on the conversations we have had throughout this year and will be sitting down with local communities to start planning how we make best use of our wider facilities to meet their health and social care needs in the medium and longer-term.  

“As always, we need to undertake this work with our communities with a mutual appreciation and recognition that we don’t have boundless resources, and that within Dumfries and Galloway, as nationally, we face major challenges in areas such as finance and recruiting to vacant posts.  

“As the Right Care, Right Place consultation set out, we believe that key to meeting this increasing and increasingly complex need is flexibility – both in the way our care provider organisations are structured and positioned to deliver care, and also in the way that our populations adapt to ensure that finite resources are employed as effectively as possible, and that we all work to support each other as members of our communities.” 

Two options for Wigtownshire maternity services to go out to consultation 

CONSULTATION on the future of Maternity Services in Wigtownshire is set to begin, after two options were presented to Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care IJB today. 

However, seeking to clarify expectations, the IJB notes that neither of the two options means birthing facilities will be available to all expectant mothers in the area – instead exploring birthing options for the low risk pregnant population in the Wigtownshire area. 

Chairman of the IJB Andy McFarlane said: “It’s well reported that hospital-based birthing services in Wigtownshire were halted in 2018 as a result of shortfalls in the number of qualified midwives required to ensure the safety of mothers and their babies. 

“As a Board, we have recognised strong feelings on this issue, particularly around the current travelling required for many births, and a local desire to establish a way forward.  

“Earlier this year, under two independent chairs and a national midwifery expert, engagement took place with people in the community and with staff in order to gain information to help shape potential options for the future of services. 

“Several options were developed by the independent chairs following engagement with stakeholders, and these went through a scoring process. 

“At the end of that scoring, two front-running options for births in the area were tied – the current arrangement which provides only for low-risk home births and a second option which would include pre-planned births at Galloway Community Hospital, again only for the same relatively small number of low-risk births.  

“While conscious that this was an independently chaired service review, it is important to recognise that this was a local service review which should include contributions and views from professional NHS staff. By doing so, it was noted that both option 1 and 2 scored the same on the day, with option 2 narrowly preferred by the independent chairs when the local professional scores were excluded.” 

The report by the independent chairs, NHS Ayrshire and Arran Medical Director Crawford McGuffie and NHS Ayrshire and Arran Executive Nurse Director Jennifer Wilson, came to the Transformation sub-committee of the IJB on August 10 2023. 

Mr McFarlane said: “The two options were discussed at that committee. Feeling there was a lack of a decisive outcome, and with no proposals or options having yet been taken out for the public to consider, a recommendation was agreed that two options be taken out for formal consultation. 

“This proposal was agreed at the meeting of the IJB on Wednesday 27 September, with a view that these possible options should go out to consultation so that the perspectives people offer in response can help inform and shape the ultimate decision making. 

“For the avoidance of doubt, and contrary to some reporting, neither of these options would represent a full birthing service in Wigtownshire. High risk births have always been advised to deliver in the Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary and this would remain the advice. 

“The second option is for pre-planned births in hospital which are assessed as being low-risk – and the last statistics for Wigtownshire showed that this was 23 per cent of all pregnancies in the area. 

“We’ll be looking to move to consultation as quickly as possible, and expecting this process to provide everyone with full information and understanding about both these options, and their implications – with details to be published in due course. 

“The IJB does not have a preferred outcome here, and we are keen that consultation takes place so that everyone within the community can help shape a model for childbirth that will serve Wigtownshire for years to come.” 

IJB committee considers report on Wigtownshire maternity services

A REPORT on the future of maternity services in Wigtownshire was considered on Thursday by a sub-committee of the region’s Integration Joint Board.

Head of Midwifery Laura Boyce said: “I’m very pleased that the report has been presented to this sub-committee of the IJB setting out options for the future of maternity services in Wigtownshire.

“I’d like to express my sincere thanks to the two independent chairs, NHS Ayrshire and Arran Medical Director Crawford McGuffie and NHS Ayrshire and Arran Executive Nurse Director Jennifer Wilson, and for the support provided by professional midwifery expert Angela Cunningham.”

The local service review of maternity services in Wigtownshire was launched on January 18 under independent expert chairs, seeking views from stakeholders to help inform approaches.

On Thursday, Dumfries and Galloway Integration Joint Board’s (IJB) Transformation and Innovation/Futures Committee met with the purpose of considering and discussing the findings in the report and the next steps in moving towards a sustainable approach – to be taken on through the full IJB.

The report set out the work which had taken place to review maternity services and engage with the voice of our local communities, families who had experience of maternity services in Wigtownshire, as well as wider staff groups.

This review was undertaken in the context of the temporary suspension of low-risk, intrapartum maternity services at Galloway Community Hospital which came into effect in 2018 due to staffing pressures.

Option one represents the birthing service currently available in Wigtownshire. It would comprise continued care provision from Community Maternity Hub (Oak Tree Family Centre) and support for home births, but with no provision for intrapartum care within Galloway Community Hospital.

Option two would comprise the continued care delivery from Community Maternity Hub (Oak Tree Family Centre), with the addition of a planned, on call birthing option for low risk births from Clenoch Birth Centre within Galloway Community Hospital.

Under either option, there would be no midwives routinely based at Galloway Community Hospital for wider aspects of care.

Both options achieved the same score of 78 in the scoring process, inclusive of NHS Dumfries and Galloway professional leads who participated in the process. Option two was the preferred option of the professional experts independent to NHS Dumfries and Galloway, with a score of 80.

The report also noted the resource implications for resuming births on a planned, low-risk basis at the Clenoch Birth Centre, at an associated cost of about £103,000.

Contrary to some media reporting, the report was very clear that option 2 would only be for planned, low-risk labour and birth and would not be suitable for all births in the Wigtownshire area.

In the most recent data for Wigtownshire, 23% of all pregnancies were assessed as low-risk. Risk assessment throughout pregnancy and birth is undertaken following nationally recognised standards.

There is a need to highlight that, other than for location, the service provided under the option for planned, low-risk births in the Clenoch Birth Centre would be the same as the regionwide home birth service currently provided for expectant mothers in Wigtownshire.

On Thursday, the Dumfries and Galloway Integration Joint Board’s (IJB) Transformation and Innovation/Futures Committee decided to recommend to the full IJB meeting of September 27 that the two options are taken out to public consultation.