Wednesday, 31 October 2012


Was happy to attend one of the first staff engagement events yesterday on the Integration of Health and Social Care services. A couple of hundred or so senior NHS and Council staff gathered at the Corn Exchange for a seminar and discussion forum. Tim Davison, Chief Exec of NHS Lothian gave an excellent presentation which very clearly laid out the scale of the challenge - people living longer (a good thing) but with an ever growing range of complex health conditions (not so good) that require care and health service support. And at a time of austerity, no extra cash to increase resources / services. Therefore, doing nothing is not an option. Integration is a first step to try and keep pace with increasing demand for services. Yesterday's event was a useful exercise in bringing together professionals and asking them for their views and ideas on how we face this challenge together. I was impressed by the knowledge of the people present but also struck by some comments that not all professionals are necessarily aware of all the options open to them or how to access alternatives to hospital admission when dealing with patients. Obviously better communications and information exchange will be something that we need to regard as a priority in the months ahead.

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