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Hebrides News


Letter:  Health and social care partnerships “not working”

11 January 2018


In regards to the letter from Andrew Walker, perhaps another way to look at the Integrated Joint Board — created to have health care and social care work in tandem — is to say that the NHS Western Isles is “back- door funding” the Comhairle.

After all, if the council is not spending all it can to get patients - when ready to leave hospital - back home, then the NHS is picking up the bill for this.

People prefer in most cases to be at home to recover, and they need a care plan with assistance from both social care workers and nurses. If the council department cannot get a care plan together, people stay in hospital at a much greater expense to the public purse. They can become less mobile and physically more dependent. A spiral ensues which is not good for either the patient nor the system of care.

Amid this under-spend by the Comhairle, is the news that they want to create a completely new facility — rather than improving home care and fixing the existing provision for institutional care — at a great expense (which they apparently cannot afford). It appears to be a classic case of a council needing shiny new things to display, in cooperation with the local developers and construction companies. It is not necessarily putting people first.

Recently a columnist in the Glasgow Herald suggested that the I.J.B.s across Scotland are not working as envisioned. That would seem to be the case on the Western Isles, too.

Barry Shelby