Dumfries & Galloway Health & Social Care

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Hospital care hits the gold standard

A HOSPITAL in the region has achieved the gold standard in the care it delivers to patients.
 
Staff at Annan Cottage Hospital say they are ‘ecstatic’ after being recognised with Gold Level 3 Care Assurance – following a series of unannounced inspections.
 
Carole Shannon is Senior Charge Nurse at the facility on Stapleton Road in Annan, and she said: “Everyone was just absolutely ecstatic when the news came through.
 
“This award is about measuring the quality of care being delivered in Dumfries and Galloway, and it’s really just a fantastic confirmation of the excellent quality of care that we strive to deliver at Annan Cottage Hospital.
 
“It takes a lot of work to deliver that standard of care, and we’re committed to maintain this work in order to provide the best care we possibly can.”
A series of unannounced inspections took place looking at a range of aspects within the hospital’s performance, including food, fluids and nutritional standards as well as pressure ulcer standards.
 
Annan Cottage Hospital had already achieved Bronze and Silver Level 3 Care Assurance, with this latest grade representing the highest possible level of care.
 
Across Dumfries and Galloway, work has taken place to develop ways of measuring performance through a Care Assurance framework – adapting measures which were developed by Healthcare Improvement Scotland.
 
The Excellence in Care framework is a national approach to develop and implement a world class evidence–based, national method to assuring nursing and midwifery care that reflects the ‘Once for Scotland’ ethos. 
 
The approach seeks to improve, integrate and co- ordinate the way nursing and midwifery services are delivered within the Scottish public sector to ensure everyone receives a consistent standard and quality service.
 
Excellence in Care is intended to ensure that people who use services within NHS Scotland can have the confidence that no matter where they are cared for, they will consistently receive high quality nursing care delivered in a compassionate way by confident and competent nurses and midwives.
 
General Manager for Community Health and Social Care Graham Abrines said: “This is a fantastic achievement by the highly committed and conscientious staff at Annan Cottage Hospital, and recognises the exemplary quality of care which they are delivering, day in and day out.
 
“A lot of hard work is required to deliver care at this gold standard level, but the team are determined to ensure that this quality is continued – to the benefit of every patient who visits Annan Cottage Hospital.”

Donations see local Blood Bikes riders receive life-saving jackets

 
GENEROUS donations are helping motorcyclists from the charity Blood Bikes stay safer on the roads – thanks to the purchase of innovative new gear.
 
The small army of riders in Dumfries and Galloway who give up their time transporting blood and test materials have become the very first team in the whole of the UK to be kitted out with potentially life-saving jackets which automatically inflate if the motorcyclist comes off their bike.
 
Dave Hook is chairman of Dumfries and Galloway Blood Bikes, and he said: “These jackets are truly extraordinary pieces of kit, and an extremely welcome addition locally.
 
“Every day we have teams of motorcyclists carrying out really vital work transporting supplies of blood as well as materials for testing, and this takes them the length and breadth of the country. This is all done by unpaid Volunteers who donate their time to make a difference to our region.”
 
“Thanks to extremely generous conditions and the support of a manufacturer, we’re now in a position to kit out our riders with these jackets which may prove truly life-saving if the worst should happen.”
 
Dave says it was a crash involving a local rider on a ride out with a member of the group which prompted the move to acquire the inflatable jackets.
 
He said: “A rider came off their bike at a relatively low speed. He went over the top of his bike.
 
“The consequence was that he received life changing injuries. He’s made a recovery, but that incident did highlight to the trustees that we needed to look more at safety for our volunteers. We picked up the ball, and looked to see how we could ensure every one of our riders had the very best protection.”
 
Helite manufacture body worn inflatable airbag protection jackets and supply through Airvest in the UK, who are supporting Blood Bikes charities throughout the UK. However, Dumfries and Galloway Blood Bikes are the first in the UK to supply all riders with air vests and crash helmets with comms kits.
  
Four vests were paid for by Moffat Hospital League of Friends, and more than 40 vests were funded through money provided by Dumfries Hospitals League of Friends. Other contributions have helped to kit out all the riders. The helmets are funded through the Dumfries and Galloway Community Safety Fund.
 
A spokesman for the company Airvest said: “We’re delighted to be able to support Dumfries and Galloway Blood Bikes in the important work they carry out within the region and throughout the UK.
 
“We hope that the Airvests we’ve provided will help to ensure the safety of those riders as they take to the roads, and provide them with greater confidence as they carry out this work.”
 
In the case of an accident, the Airvest protects the thorax and spine from direct impact, and supports the base of the helmet preventing neck injury by limiting hyeprflexion and extension. The jacket remains inflated for seven minutes, holding the rider in a safe position.
 
Dr Peter Armstrong is a consultant in Emergency Medicine with NHS Dumfries and Galloway, and he said: “We’re no strangers to the sometimes very serious injuries that can be experienced by motorcyclists.
 
“Ensuring you take every possible precaution such as wearing proper protective clothing is going to be very important in ensuring the best outcome if things go wrong. Of course, we would always advise motorcyclists to take great care when out in the roads, and give full consideration to the conditions.”
 
In addition to the inflatable jackets, Dumfries and Galloway Blood Bikes are also celebrating the addition of two new bikes to their fleet – thanks to the support of local supermarkets.
 
One of the bikes has been paid for solely by Morrisons while the other has been partially funded by Tesco and Insured by McCowans of Dalbeattie. The two bikes have been named Frances and Myra. Frances McCowan sadly died and donated funds to insure a bike and Myra is the Community Champion for Morrisons and has supported DGBB through the Morrisons Foundation since DGBB started.
 
Dave Hook said: “We can’t thank Morrisons, McCowans and Tesco enough for their generosity.
 
“We also owe a massive debt to those organisations which funded the purchase of the Airvests, and to everyone who has and continues to support the work of Blood Bikes in Dumfries and Galloway.
 
“I think I speak for all our riders when I say that we’re immensely proud of what we’re able to do to help NHS Dumfries and Galloway, and to be given such support from the community is just amazing.”
 
 

Children help create identity for maternity hub

SCHOOLCHILDREN in Wigtownshire are getting creative as they help to name a new women’s, children’s and sexual health services facility taking shape in Stranraer.

Colourful, creative entries are already being received from schools, as part of work to help establish an identity for the dedicated, standalone Women, Children’s and Sexual Health Services Hub.

Head of Midwifery Karen King said: “Work is now well underway to repurpose the Darataigh building on Dalrymple Street and create a facility which will accommodate women, children’s and sexual health services.

 

“Until now, maternity and children’s services for the west of the region have been provided out of a range of different locations – meaning that pregnant women, new mothers and their children have had to travel between facilities.

“In addition, it means that our clinical teams are not working together to the best advantage of the community and having to share facilities which are dedicated to other purposes.

“The new Women, Children’s and Sexual Health Services Hub will bring together all these services and the staff who deliver them, and improve the experiences of those accessing these services.”

Karen added: “Through the Transforming Wigtownshire programme, and as an important part of the Best Start initiative, we’re really keen that the community is very involved in this work.

“We’re therefore really delighted that children in Wigtownshire are set to help create an identity for this new facility.”

Through the Transforming Wigtownshire programme, Programme Manager Karen Harper has co-ordinated a competition through schools aimed at helping to name and identify the hub.

Karen said: “Young people are absolutely full of creativity, and we’ve been so impressed by the submissions we’ve already received.

“This new facility will be there to support children across Wigtownshire, so it’s appropriate that they should take the lead in helping to create its identity.

“We’re asking children in all schools and clubs across Wigtownshire to think of names for the new hub, and perhaps come up with creative ways to present these ideas. On the evidence so far, children don’t need much prompting to come up with great ideas, but we have given the example of a similar facility in Dumfries called ‘The Willows’.”

Karen added: “The competition is running until 9th December, after which the ideas will be considered and worked through – with prizes awarded as a way of thanks to some of the most outstanding entries.

“The new facility is rapidly taking shape, so hopefully there’ll be a fitting name and identity in place, ready for an opening hoped to take place by spring 2020.”

Karen King said: “We’re really excited about what’s being created, and we will be seeking to promote the full range of services which we will be able to offer.”

Entries to the competition should be submitted to Karen Harper, Locality Office, Victoria Place, Stranraer, DG9 7HX by the closing date of Monday December 9, 2019.

 

Approach expanded to increase hospital’s patient flow

AN APPROACH aimed at helping with the discharge of patients from hospital has expanded.

The Discharge Lounge which has been running at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary has now been scaled up – helping to ensure better patient flow within the hospital.

Clinical Nurse Manager Anne Allison said: “We first introduced the Discharge Lounge at DGRI in November 2018 and are really pleased with what it has meant for improved patient flow.

“This was an innovation we had seen working well in other hospitals, and our new facility here in Dumfries and Galloway allowed us to test the approach.

“Until now, if a patient was assessed as being well enough to be discharged from hospital this would have meant them having to wait by their bed for all arrangements such as waiting for their relatives to finish work to come and pick them up or transport home to be put in place.

“This had a knock-on effect, because although the patient was fit to go it effectively reduced the numbers of available beds for new patients being admitted.

“We’re dealing with a high volume of patients every week, so anything that can help improve flow through the hospital is definitely an advantage to our work and the patients we’re looking after.”

The Discharge Lounge at DGRI was created in an area adjacent to the main entrance of the hospital. It features a selection of high back chairs, recliners and beds, has toilet facilities, and with beverages and food available throughout the day.

Dedicated nursing staff are based in the Discharge Lounge throughout the day to help co-ordinate patient requirements. The location also provides a point where patients can collect medicines before departure.

Many patients have commented on the improved experience, and comments collected as part of the continual evaluation have included: “Lovely location,” “Discharge experience was 10/10,” “I think the discharge lounge is a great idea.”

Anne Allison said: “People may not have considered this when so much is focused on their health, but the minute a patient is admitted to hospital we’re already planning their departure.

“During the course of treatment, assessments are taking place around the patients’ needs and conversations are held with family and carers about arrangements for their departure. All of this is to ensure that when a patient is ready to leave, they do so in a way that allows the system to treat the next patient being admitted – so they can enjoy the same benefit of treatment and care.

“Similar to a hotel, we aim to discharge all patients who no longer need hospital care by midday or as early as possible. At this point, they will move from a clinical ward to the Discharge Lounge where they will await any final discharge arrangements.

“Patients are asked to help ensure good flow in the hospital by ensuring they have necessary arrangements for leaving hospital including transport, clothes and shoes, and that their home is stocked with food and any medication they may need.”

Anyone seeking more information is invited to contact the Discharge Lounge Team by phoning 01387 246246.

 

 PICTURE:

 Left to right: Friendly staff at the Discharge Lounge include Arlene Horsburgh, Rebecca Cartwright and Christine Hunter

Hospital ‘treating older patients with dignity and respect’

OLDER people in a Dumfries and Galloway Hospital are treated with dignity and respect by friendly and approachable staff.

That was the finding of a report which followed an unannounced inspection at Galloway Community Hospital in Stranraer by Healthcare Improvement Scotland from September 17 to 19.

Welcoming the findings of the report into Care of Older People, General Manager of Acute and Diagnostics Carole Morton said: “This is an extremely positive report which endorses so much of the good work being carried out by our excellent staff at Galloway Community Hospital.

“Although ensuring people are helped to achieve the best health outcomes is fundamental to what we do, it is essential that patients are always treated with dignity and respect.

“The fact that so many older patients and their families were happy to voice that this was the case at Galloway Community Hospital is a real credit to our extremely hardworking, kind and conscientious staff.

“However, we are never complacent. We are always working to ensure high standards are maintained, and to build on them and make improvements wherever we can. We very much welcome the findings which have emerged from the work carried out by Healthcare Improvement Scotland and are incorporating their recommendations within our improved action plan.”

A team of three inspectors and a project officer from Healthcare Improvement Scotland arrived unannounced at Galloway Community Hospital on September 17 to undertake three days of work looking at rehabilitation, palliative and end of life care in Dalrymple Ward, acute medical admissions and stroke in Garrick Ward and at work in the Emergency Department.

During the inspection they spoke with staff and used additional tools to gather more information, including observation of interactions between patients and staff, interviews with patients, and questionnaires for patients and carers.

Inspectors reported that, ‘During our inspection, we saw that patients were treated with dignity and respect. All patients appeared comfortable and were dressed appropriately. We saw that patients had call bells, fluids and personal items within reach. When call bells were heard, they were answered promptly.’

They also said, ‘Staff were friendly and approachable. We saw staff addressed patients by their preferred name and interactions between patients and staff were positive. We did not hear any inappropriate or negative language.’

The report highlights areas of good practice, including the observation that pressure ulcer risk assessments are being completed within the nationally required timeframe, with specialist pressure relieving equipment in place. It also highlighted that meals are served early and in a timely manner to the patients that required assistance, and that a good range of snacks and additional menu items are provided.

In its recommendations, the report noted that staff must ensure the patients’ usual weight or any reported weight loss is recorded in order to comply with national standards, and that similarly food record charts are commenced and accurately completed for patients who require them.

A variety of comments were collected from patients, carers and visitors, with strong backing for the view that staff are ‘friendly and approachable’.

The Healthcare Improvement Scotland report comes at the end of a very positive year for Galloway Community Hospital.

Earlier this year the hospital enjoyed a very positive inspection report from Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (Scotland) reports in regards to infection control and cleanliness standards. Dalrymple Ward has meanwhile received two Bronze awards for Care Assurance in the last 12 months, and Garrick Ward was named ‘Mentor of the Year’ from the University of the West of Scotland.

The full Healthcare Improvement Scotland report can be viewed at… http://www.healthcareimprovementscotland.org/our_work/inspecting_and_regulating_care/opah_dg/galloway_community_nov_19.aspx

New medicines safety group gives increased assurance

A GROUP has been established with the aim of promoting safe and effective use of medicines throughout Dumfries and Galloway.

 

The Medicines Safety Group is a sub-group of the Area Drug and Therapeutics Committee (ADTC), which has a focus on improving and maintaining the quality of systems and processes associated with prescribing, administering, dispensing and monitoring of medicines.

 

Explaining the origins of the new Medicines Safety Group, Lead Acute Pharmacist Alison Bell said: “Medicines safety is integral throughout the work undertaken within NHS Dumfries and Galloway, and is an area where we are always looking for ways in which improvements can be made.

 

“It was felt that a specific Medicines Safety Group could help with the co-ordination of this work, and provide an oversight spanning right across the organisation – from acute hospitals to GP practices.

 

“We have drawn together key staff involved in this work to take forward an agenda which will give us even greater assurance around our constant efforts to ensure the safe prescribing, administering, dispensing and monitoring of medicines.”

 

The Medicines Safety Group has now held an initial meeting, establishing its role and functions.

 

The group’s primary objective is the identification and co-ordination of improvement activity relating to the use of medicines and minimising any harm from their use.

 

It is responsible for evaluating local and national evidence relating to systems and processes of medicines use, highlighting priority areas for improvement.

 

It will also develop and maintain a workplan identifying organisational actions being taken to address priority areas for improvement linking with areas of identified risk.

 

It will monitor trends, identify learning points, promote sharing of information enabling learning and promotion of good practice, and it will input into the development of medicines codes of practice.

 

In addition, it will serve as forum for multi-disciplinary, cross-organisational, patient-centred discussion.

 

Alison said: “We strongly believed there was an important role for a group such as this, and, after having established our remit and membership, are even more convinced of its merits and the good work it can accomplish.

 

“People should be assured that medicines safety is of paramount important to NHS Dumfries and Galloway, and the creation of this group only further strengthens that assurance.”

 

 

PICTURE: Left to right: Assistant General Manager Patsy Pattie, Lead Pharmacist Acute and Diagnostics Alison Bell, Nurse Manager Vicki Nicoll and Senior Charge Nurse Fiona Richardson

‘Best Start’ set to modernise maternity and neonatal services

A MODERNISATION of maternity and neonatal care services is set to take place in Dumfries and Galloway over the next five years.

The Best Start initiative now underway in the region reflects a national strategy for Scotland which aims to place the needs and wishes of all mothers and their babies at the heart of service redesign.

Teams on the ground comprising a range of disciplines are currently working together to roll out the best start vision within NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s Maternity and Neonatal Care.

Linda Williamson is General Manager for Women, Children’s and Sexual Health Services in the region, and she said: “Best Start represents the most significant programme of modernisation within maternity and neonatal care for many years.

“At the heart of the approach is ensuring that the needs and wishes of mothers are prioritised when shaping these services.

“Work has taken place nationally to develop this vision for maternity and neonatal care, and we are at the stage now of working with communities across the region, our staff and partners to ensure that this vision is implemented successfully.”

The vision shapes maternal and newborn care over the next five years. It includes: 

  • All mothers and babies are offered a truly family-centred, safe and compassionate approach to their care, recognising their own unique circumstances and preferences
  • Fathers and partners and other family members are actively encouraged and supported to become an integral part of all aspects of maternal and newborn care
  • Women experience real continuity of care and carer, across the whole maternity journey, with vulnerable families being offered any additional tailored support they may require.

Karen King is the Head of Midwifery/Consultant Midwife, and she said: “Best Start sets the direction for the modernisation of our models of care over the next five years.

“Having a baby is the most special of periods in a family’s life and we recognise that our care is very important, not only to ensure high quality and safe care but also to provide trusted relationships between families and health care providers to ensure our care is person-centred and supportive of people’s individual needs.

“It is also our aim that staff are skilled and well supported to deliver a high quality service every time and they work in a culture with everyone’s contribution is equally valued.”

 

WORK is advancing on the creation of a facility delivering ante and post-natal care services in the community of Wigtownshire.

As part of the Best Start programme, these services will be delivered through the new Women, Children’s Sexual Health Services Hub in Stranraer, which will be a dedicated, standalone facility.

Head of Midwifery Karen King said: “Currently, maternity and neonatal services for the west of the region are provided out of a range of different locations.

“This not only means that pregnant women, new mothers and their children are required to travel between facilities, but that our clinical teams are not working together to the best advantage of the community and having to share facilities which are dedicated to other purposes.

“The Women, Children’s and Sexual Health Services Hub in Stranraer will be a new, dedicated, standalone facility. It will bring together all these services and the staff who deliver them, and improve the experiences of those accessing these services.

“This facility is being developed in line with the vision of Best Start, and will help achieve its objective of ensuring we meet the needs and wishes of mothers and their children.”

Work is progressing to entirely repurpose the Darataigh building on Dalrymple Street to create a facility which will accommodate women, children’s and sexual health services.

NHS staff from a rage of departments including Estates, Information Technology and Infection Control have been working with colleagues from Women, Children and Sexual Health Services to develop the building, and ensure that it will meet all requirements to the highest possible standards.

Karen King said: “Great progress is being made in the work to develop this new, dedicated facility. We hope it will be ready to open by Spring 2020, and are energised and excited about the improved quality of services which we will be able to offer as we implement the vision of Best Start.

“We’re keen to involve the community as the Hub takes shape, and will be seeking to promote the full range of services which we will be able to offer.”

 

 A SCANNING service for pregnant women is being brought to Wigtownshire as part of the Best Start initiative.

Head of Midwifery Karen King said: “Currently, pregnant women are required to travel to Dumfries for scans, which we fully appreciate can be an unwelcome journey – particularly for someone in their condition.

“So we are delighted that we are now going to be able to provide this service and deliver this care much closer to where they live.

“Our newly appointed midwife sonographer will initially be based in Galloway Community Hospital, but with plans for this service to be integrated with others out of the Women, Children’s and Sexual Health Services Hub which is rapidly taking form.

From tomorrow, highly experienced midwife Joanne Porter will be providing the scanning service in weekly, Wednesday clinics.

Karen said: “These clinics will include all scans, from early dating to detailed growth scans. This will negate the need to go to Dumfries for most pregnancy scans, providing a more complete local service for women in Wigtownshire.

“This will be done in conjunction with twice monthly locally held consultant clinics.”

Joanne Porter has served in a midwifery role for almost 30 years, and is now a fully qualified sonographer.

She said: “I am local to Stranraer having lived most of my life in Stranraer and Glenluce. I have worked as a midwife in Galloway Community Hospital since 1994, and still love my job. I feel that the extended role of midwife sonographer is very special.

“As women currently have to travel to Dumfries to give birth to their babies unless they are having a home birth, this will cut down on most of the travel and bring a really important service to Wigtownshire.”

 

‘Revolutionary’ revealed as speaker at health and social care event

AN EDUCATOR and author described as ‘a leading revolutionary’ by the Financial Times will be the keynote speaker at a free event in Dumfries at the end of the month.

Eddie Obeng has been announced as the speaker at Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership’s ‘Looking Back – Leaping Forward’ event on October 31, which will also include the Integration Joint Board Annual Review.

An invitation is being extended to the public and all health and social care staff able to attend to come along to the event and hear the talk by the inspirational Mr Obeng.

Vicky Freeman is Head of Strategic Planning and Performance, and she said: “We’re really thrilled to have Eddie Obeng as our keynote speaker at ‘Looking Back – Leaping Forward’.

“Eddie truly is an inspirational speaker, and as someone so focused on innovation and planning for the future he couldn’t be a more appropriate choice for an event looking at the challenges which lie ahead for health and social care in Dumfries and Galloway.”

Mr Obeng is an organisational theorist, educator, and author, who serves as a professor at Henley Business School and Hult International Business School’s Ashridge Executive Education.

His learning material is designed to help address questions about delivering for the future, about organising talent and around ensuring results, and he has been described as ‘a leading revolutionary’ and ‘an agent provocateur’ by the Financial Times.

‘Looking Back – Leaping Forward’ will include a marketplace showcasing some of the innovations which it is hoped will support efforts to meet health and social care needs in coming years.

And views are being sought from patients, service users and staff throughout the day, including at afternoon workshops which will help inform the imminent creation of a new three-year strategic plan.

Members of the public will have the chance to contribute to the Integration Joint Board (IJB) Annual Review, which sees the organisation responsible for the strategic vision for the region’s health and social care scrutinised by the council, NHS and attendees.

Anyone who is keen to contribute but is unable to attend can do so by contributing a 60-second video of their thoughts on priorities, successes and failings, emailing it to dg.hscpcomms@nhs.net

The ‘Looking Back – Leaping Forward’ event takes place at The Cairndale Hotel from 10.30 am on October 31. Coffee, tea and lunch is provided. An afternoon session of workshops concludes at 4 pm.

Although a limited number of spaces will be provided on the day, attendees are invited to register in advance by emailing 01387 241346 or emailing amber.murray@nhs.net – ideally before October 31.

Vicky Freeman said: “It’s going to be a really interesting day, and hopefully there’ll be some lively, creative discussion as we start to make plans for the immediate future of health and social care.

“Whether you’re a member of the public with an interest in health and social care or some views you want to get across, or you work in the field and have a clear insight into what needs to change – we’d very much welcome you to come along on October 31, to have lunch, hear Eddie speak and contribute to the future shape of health and social care in Dumfries and Galloway.”

Bid to make greater use of hospital’s resources

A WAY of making greater use of resources within Galloway Community Hospital is to be trialled over the next three to six months.

An expansion of the ambulatory service and the creation of a 24/7 Emergency Department observation unit is set to be trialled as part of the Transforming Wigtownshire programme workstream ‘Making most of the Galloway Community Campus’.

The hospital’s Nursing and Services Manager Natalie Adams said: “The workstream within Transforming Wigtownshire is looking to ensure that the resources we have at Galloway Community Hospital are being used to maximum benefit.

“Currently, we’re in a position where not all the inpatient bed space within the hospital is always being used, and yet must always be staffed and maintained.

“Our twofold test of change will see us adopt a more dynamic model of working, using two beds to enhance and expand the ambulatory service which currently runs Monday to Friday, 8 am to 3.30 pm.

“This expansion will not only include the extra space but it will expand the staffing capacity so that the unit can operate from 8 am to 8 pm, Monday to Friday. This will give people the opportunity to have treatment after work or be able to get intravenous medication two to three times a day without the need for admission. 

“The second element of our test of change is utilising a further two beds to provide an Emergency Department observation unit which will be open 24/7, 365 days a year. 

“This will provide a safe and effective area to observe those individuals who are either waiting to be transferred to a more specialised facility for further care or those individuals who need short term treatment of less than 24 hours, thus avoiding  the need for a hospital admission.”

Natalie added: “There is built-in capacity for this test of change, with the flexibility to revert any of those four beds back to inpatient beds should they be needed.

“The outcomes from this test of change will be evaluated and measured – and the results made publicly available. We’d also very much welcome any comments or suggestions around this approach from anyone who uses this service.”

Meanwhile, people are still being asked to get involved with the Transforming Wigtownshire programme and take on a role in shaping approaches to health and social care.

To get involved, contact the locality office on 01776 707757 or email k.harper2@nhs.net

Short Break services report handed to Integration Joint Board

ACTION for Children have delivered their report looking at Short Break services for children in Dumfries and Galloway.

The UK children’s charity were commissioned by the Integration Joint Board to look at current arrangements for short break provisions for children, young people and their families within the region.

And on September 25, officers from Action for Children handed over their report to the Board, providing them with a first opportunity to see their findings.

IJB chairman Councillor Andy Ferguson said: “We were delighted to welcome Action for Children to our meeting, and very pleased to have them present their report.

“This was an opportunity to hear the findings of the report, led by a representative of the author.

“Following the presentation, the Board today agreed to instruct the Chief Officer of the IJB to commission a series of options taking on board these findings, to be brought back to the Integration Joint Board for consideration within that context.

“In the interim, until those options are considered, there will be no change to the existing model of service.”

Action for Children were commissioned to carry out this work on an entirely independent basis as part of a regionwide review of Short Break services.

An independent consultation was requested to capture the views and voices of children, young people, and their parents/carers from across the region who currently or have previously accessed Acorn House short break services.

Additionally, staff, key professionals, and families were invited to participate.

Following the meeting, the full report has now been made public and has been circulated to interested parties.

The full Action for Children report can be accessed at https://dghscp.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Agenda-Item-5-Acorn-House-Report.pdf

A summary report can be found at https://dghscp.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Agenda-Item-5-Summary-from-Action-for-Children-Acorn-House.pdf