March 2014 - NHS Highland



March 2014 - NHS Highland
March 2014
A fund of experience
BROADFORD and Aviemore
have emerged as the preferred locations for new hospitals in Highland.
On 11th March, the steering
group looking into the redesign of
health and adult social care services in Skye, Lochalsh and
South West Ross chose Broadford as its preferred location for a
new hospital in the area.
A week earlier, a special meeting of the NHS Highland board
decided to go to formal threemonth consultation in Badenoch
& Strathspey, where there has
already been extensive community engagement on service redesign. The result of this is the
emergence of a preferred option
for change – developing a new
community hospital and resource
centre in Aviemore, starting a
wider redesign of health and social care services and closing Ian
Charles Hospital in Grantown-onSpey and St Vincent Hospital in
Work will now take place to
Aviemore for the new hospital
and resource centre, and this will
form part of the formal consultation.
In Skye, Lochalsh and South
West Ross, an extensive engagement exercise resulted in a preferred option being chosen for the
future shape of service provision.
This was to modernise local services, including those provided by
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Dr Boyd Peters at Ian Charles
Hospital in Grantown-on-Spey
St Vincents Hospital, Kingussie
Mackinnon Memorial Hospital,
Portree Hospital
Preferred locations for new hospitals
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the area’s two hospitals, Portree
and Mackinnon Memorial in
The steering group had recommended the creation of a main
community resource centre and
hospital (a ‘hub’) in one of the
towns and a smaller ‘spoke’ facility in the other. This was presented to a special meeting of the
NHS Highland board on 4th
March, and work to identify a preferred location was agreed.
A ‘location option appraisal
workshop’ was subsequently held
by the service redesign steering
group selected Broadford for the
new-build hub facility and Portree
as the location for the spoke.
However, no decisions were
taken on the actual sites. Further
work will now take place to assess the feasibility of a number of
sites and to ensure that all potential sites have been identified. But
as NHS Highland owns land adjacent to the new health centre in
Broadford this will be investigated
in the first instance.
The preferred locations having
been chosen, a recommendation
will be made to the April meeting
of the NHS Highland board to
pave the way for a formal, threemonth consultation on the full
service model and possible site
locations. When that is complete
a final recommendation will be
made to the board and then to
Scottish Government ministers.
The proposed new hub would
be the main site and would accommodate a wide range of services, such as the Scottish Ambulance Service, social care and
community health, and would
also have in-patient facilities, the
main diagnostic facilities such as
X-ray and endoscopy, a procedure room for minor operations,
endoscopy, out-patient chemotherapy and infusion service, and
the main visiting out-patient services such as orthopaedic, surgical, chest and ENT.
The spoke would accommodate out-patient services, primary
care emergency centre, a minor
injury unit and a base for NHS
Highland’s community team for
the north of the area. However, it
would not have in-patient beds.
With public attention understandably focused on the prospect of closing hospitals and
building new ones, the board was
Woodland enterprise volunteers
gain qualifications after training
BLARBUIE Woodland Enterprise volunteers have gained qualifications
which will assist them in maintaining the Lochgilphead woodland.
Trainees Sam Thomas, Alan Campbell, Peter Creech and Colin
Campbell were put through training before receiving their LANTRA certification for chain-saw crosscutting, felling techniques and saw maintenance. T
his training will quickly be put to good use as previous years’ storm
damage to the woodland has led to a backlog of clearing work.
Blarbuie Woodland Enterprise looks to enhance the mental and
physical health of people in the Mid Argyll area and also wants to improve access to open up the woodland for all to enjoy.
at pains to point out at its special
meeting this month that much
had still to be done before any
construction work starts.
“We are in the middle of a very
long process in which the input of
people in both communities is
crucial,” said Maimie Thompson,
head of PR and engagement. “I
understand that the public will
focus on our hospitals in both areas, but I must stress that they
are not a done deal.”
NHS Highland chair Garry
Coutts described both service
redesigns as “a tremendous opportunity”.
“Being able to get to this stage
for both these communities is
fantastic,” he said.
Among those present at the
special meeting was Dave
Thompson, MSP for Skye,
Lochaber and Badenoch, who
told the board: “I am very comfortable with the way things are
being approached and you get
my full support.
“The issues in Badenoch &
Strathspey and Skye, Lochalsh &
South West Ross were never going to be easy to deal with but it
has been a positive process in
how people have been involved.”
FINANCE: Need to secure extra £2.5m ‘clearly disappointing’
Brokerage deal
enables board to
balance books
NHS HIGHLAND has had to borrow from the Scottish Government to help it balance the books.
Director of finance Nick
Kenton will tell the board on 1st
April that NHS Highland has secured brokerage of £2.5 million
from the Scottish Government
Health and Social Care Directorates to ensure that it meets its
financial targets in 2013/14. The
money will have to be repaid in
future years, based on an agreed
schedule starting in 2015/16.
In his report to the board, Mr
Kenton will explain: “The need to
obtain brokerage is clearly disappointing and emphasises the
need for robust savings plans
and controls which deliver recurrent savings and reduce the
board’s reliance on non-recurrent
resource, which has grown in recent years.”
Mr Kenton reported to the
February meeting of the board on
the need for a £2 million improvement in NHS Highland’s operational units to deliver financial
break-even. This was in addition
to a potential benefit of £2 million
from reprofiling the lives of NHS
Highland’s assets, securing additional funding of £1 million from
The Highland Council and securing other benefits totalling £0.6
However, the director will tell
the April meeting that, while the
£1 million had been secured from
the local authority, the asset lives
reprofiling had yielded £0.4 million less than originally predicted.
Furthermore, the improving
financial trend in the operation
units did not continue through the
first two months of the final quarter of the financial year.
The need to obtain brokerage is clearly
disappointing and emphasises the need
for robust savings plans and controls
The most significant overspend, £9.5 million, related to
Raigmore Hospital, where the
financial position deteriorated by
£0.3 million since the February
board meeting.
Most of this related to increases in theatre costs, orthopaedic lists and cancer drugs.
“While interim management
arrangements have now been put
in place at Raigmore, it is too late
in the financial year to expect any
further improvement,” Mr Kenton
will report.
In addition, the director will
report a £3.9 million overspend in
HNS Highland’s South and Mid
Operational Unit, an improvement
of £0.3 million on the figure reported in February; and a £1.7
million overspend in the North
and West Operational Unit,
where, Mr Kenton will report,
there are continuing financial
pressures caused mainly by the
use of medical locums in the rural
general hospitals and GP out-ofhours costs. However, there has
been a £1.3 million underspend
in Argyll & Bute, where there are
also pressures relating to locum
THANKS to everyone who took
the time to answer the questions
in the recent staff survey on
physical activity and active
Responses came in from
every corner of the board, and
with over 1,200 sets of answers
it starts to give us a good idea of
what our staff are thinking and
At the time of writing the survey has recently closed, and the
prize draw just taken place. Full
analysis of the responses is under way, and we will use what
you say to further support opportunities for staff to be active in a
way that they enjoy and is realistic to fit with busy lives.
Congratulations to Nell
Health promotion
specialist Dan
Jenkins reports on
the results of a
recent staff survey
MacGillivary from Dingwall
Health Centre, Mairi Henderson
from Kingussie Medical Practice,
and Laura Mcilhatton from Centre for Health Sciences, who are
the lucky winners of £50 outdoor
activity ‘vouchers’.
Huge thanks to the Green
Exercise Partnership for donating the funding for these, and for
their continued dedication to enhancing opportunities and ac-
A GREAT opportunity that is coming up is Paths for All’s National Step Count Challenge, running for eight weeks from
28th April.
It’s a chance to get a team together and set your own goals
based on how many steps you cover each day. It counts all
the steps you do, whether it in or out of work time.
And it’s not all about doing the most steps: the biggest national prizes in this challenge are for people who improve the
steps they cover, for the most creative ways to get out walking, and for the people who best inspire those around them.
The process is easy: sign up as a team and log your daily
steps. If you don’t have a pedometer (or equivalent app on
your phone), then we are supporting those who sign up with
a team by providing 1,000 pedometers to help NHS Highland
employees participate fully in this challenge. You can also
order them for an additional £5 through the site.
The website goes live from 31st March, and we’ll send out
more publicity soon.
cess to the amazing environment around us. Congratulations, too, to Yvonne MacRae in
Bettyhill, who is the lucky recipient of an additional donated
prize of £20 outdoor activity
‘voucher’. And thanks go to the
benefactor who recognised the
value of encouraging the views
of staff on these questions.
So, what did you tell us?
Here are a few headlines from
the survey …
Thirty-two percent of you are
active for 30 minutes or more on
at least five days a week. While
that seems low at first glance,
out of the 60%, or so, of you
who are active for one to four
days a week, nearly two thirds
do rack up a total on two and a
half hours of activity in a week
somehow or another.
Something that really stood
out is that 74% of you would like
to be more active. Over 40% are
definitely up for trying something
new, and another 36% said you
might. So look out for opportunities coming your way, and give
each other a wee boost of confidence to take them up.
Often, getting started can be
the hardest part; and if we’re not
active then the times and distances that people often talk
about can feel daunting. Several
people have recommended
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“Couch to 5K”; which is a nineweek programme supported by
podcasts, and importantly it
starts at being a complete beginner. Check out: htt p://
w w w . nh s. u k/ T ool s/ P a ge s/
couch-5K-running-plan.aspx .
Also, coming soon is the Workplace Step Count Challenge
(see inset box on previous
The biggest reason people
identified as helping them to be
more active was ‘time’ (or some
reference to it). This is a reality
facing most of us, and highlights
why finding opportunities that fit
into daily routines can be so important. Any extra time can be
hard to find, but splitting activity
into shorter chunks and seeking
out slots during the day can
Another much-quoted factor
was having someone to be active with and to help keep each
other going. Many of our workplaces are actually ideal places
for finding those activity-
buddies, and from the responses we’ve had you are
probably not far away from
someone else who wants to do
a wee bit more as well.
…Oh …and the weather …
can’t do much about that one,
I’m afraid, but if you manage to
get out and about regularly it
might surprise you how rarely
you actually get a proper soaking.
The nature of the geography,
and length of journeys in our region can present huge challenges for regular active travel.
Almost 20% of you do travel to
work actively; but clearly there
are a lot of structural and facilities issues that you rightly highlight as having a role in facilitating active travel. More safe cycle
routes, showering and changing
facilities, and improvements to
public transport all feature.
Not far off half of all respondents have jobs that are mostly
sedentary; only 13% are mostly
active, and the rest are mixed.
Work pressures, limited
breaks, nature of the job, and
just not knowing where to start
all featured highly. This is one of
the most interesting and complex sets of responses, and we’ll
be looking into it quite a bit. People are very creative in how they
manage to, or would like to, introduce different ways of not sitting for long periods. It usually
requires a very opportunistic approach.
And managers: you have a
big part to play in giving permission and encouragement to your
staff to stretch legs (and all sorts
of body parts), and get up from
screens and desks for a while at
regular intervals.
Being active is arguably the
single most important thing we
can do for our health. The trick
is usually finding a way to do it
that we enjoy, and which fits into
busy lives. It’s not all sweat and
Lycra; and remember that if you
are being active at the level that
has the biggest gains for health,
you can still usually hold a conversation.
So get your pals, and have a
laugh too.
English health minister follows NHS Highland’s lead
Two years ago NHS Highland
learned about the work of Virginia
Mason Hospital in Seattle and
decided they would emulate its
approach to improving the quality
of care.
A number of top doctors and
managers from Highland visited
the world-leading American hospital to learn the techniques they
have used to vastly improve patient safety and the quality of services.
On 26th March, Jeremy Hunt,
England's health minister, is in
Seattle visiting Virginia Mason
and announcing that he wants
English hospitals to adopt the
same approach.
NHS Highland chair Garry
Coutts said: "We have been using the techniques we learned
from Virginia Mason for some
time and I remain convinced that
this is the correct approach. We
will reduce harm, eliminate waste
and improve the quality of the
care if we stick to what we
learned in Seattle."
He added: "Although we have
been using this method, which
we have branded the Highland
Quality Approach, for a little while
we have always said it would
take several years for the real
benefits to realise the full benefit.
Virginia Mason has been using
the system for over 12 years
and they tell us they are still
learning and have a long way to
go. I hope Mr Hunt does not expect instant results. It will take
hard work and tenacity for it to
make a real impact across the
whole of NHS England."
Target for reducing
falls ‘very realistic’
WHENEVER a target is set
to reduce anything by 50%
within a very short timescale, many eyebrows are
raised at exactly how that
can be achieved.
However, that is exactly the
aim of an ambitious new Scottish
Government and Care Inspectorate programme for improvement
when it comes to reducing falls
and fractures in a care home environment by the end of 2015.
‘Up and About in Care Homes’
is a Scottish Government-funded
project which focuses on a collaborative approach to improvement with the aim of embedding
best practice for falls prevention
in the everyday work of care
NHS Highland AHP associate
director and executive lead for
falls prevention, Katherine Sutton, said: “I think that with the
correct approach the 50% target
is very realistic. We have an example of this being achieved here
in Highland.
“Southside Care Home in Inverness has managed to achieve
this by using the good practice
resource and the model for improvement and by implementing
this into its daily work.
“We were delighted to learn
that the Highland Health and Social Care Partnership had been
selected as one of the sites to be
included in the first phase of the
national project.”
Katherine added: “We know
that falls can be a significant risk
to quality of life and maintaining
independence for older people. In
Highland, we are keen to take all
possible steps to help prevent
falls happening.
“There were 14 care homes in
Highland recruited for this project
and it’s a wonderful opportunity to
learn how best to prevent falls by
building on the excellent work
that is already ongoing in care
home across our Health and Social Care Partnership area.
“It is hoped that by actively
engaging those at the front line of
delivering care, they will develop
an understanding of the interventions that can help to reduce the
risk of care home residents falling.
“By applying the Institute for
Health Improvement’s ‘Model for
Improvement’, this will help to
empower the staff in our Highland
care homes to make the improvements to working practices that
they feel are most likely to result
in improvement within their local
setting and for the benefits of
their residents.”
To date, there have been
three regions targeted to hold
special learning sessions aimed
at giving attending care home
staff, and their wider community
teams, the opportunity to reflect
on the current falls prevention
and management within care
homes and learn about how improvement methods can help
them with the work.
Lianne McInally, the national
project lead for Up and About in
Care Homes, said: “What we are
teaching here will help to shape
the future of care homes in Scotland.
“Our target is to reduce the
number of falls and fractures in
our participating care homes by
50% by the end of 2015.
“This is a great opportunity for
care home workers from across
Highland to come together and
share ideas on best practice.
“One of the main reasons we
chose to hold a learning session
in Highland was for exactly that. It
can be very difficult for collaboration when you’re miles away from
each other.”
Those who attended at the
Centre for Health Science last
month were treated to a number
of lectures and presentations on
topics such as ‘Why Falls Matter’,
‘Introduction to the Model for Improvement’ and ‘What is a Collaborative Approach?’.
Care Inspectorate rehabilitation consultant Edith Macintosh
said: “I am absolutely delighted
with the engagement within the
care home sector in Highland.
“This is a great opportunity for
them to get focused support to
make a positive impact on the
quality of care for older people in
care homes.”
The care home project is part
of a national programme of work
on falls prevention in Scotland.
Seminars to put spotlight on domestic abuse
THE charity Ross-shire Women’s
Aid is to hold two seminars on
domestic abuse on consecutive
days next month.
The events, entitled ‘Coercive
Control and the Leaving Process
Abuse’, will be held on two days:
on 2nd April in Portree Community
Centre, Skye, and on 3rd April in
Inshes Church, Inverness, on
both occasions from 10am-1pm.
The seminars are designed to
help people better understand
domestic abuse, appreciate its
impact and understand the main
issues in providing an appropriate
service to women, children and
young people experiencing domestic abuse.
Registration will start at
9.30am on both days, and tea,
coffee and pastries will be available.
The seminars are being facilitated by Nel Whiting, a learning
and development worker with
Scottish Women’s Aid.
Her role takes her throughout
Scotland providing learning opportunities to a range of professionals in the voluntary and statutory sectors.
To attend either seminar,
email [email protected] or contact Claire on 01349 862689.
VIDEOS: Humorous films have strong underlying health message
Campaign calls
on women to
have smear test
EVERY three years women
aged 20 to 60 years are invited to have a potentially
life-saving smear test.
The test takes only five minutes, saves around 5,000 lives in
the UK every year and prevents
eight out of 10 cervical cancers
from developing.
Smear test appointments can
be made with GPs, family planning or sexual health clinic.
It might be surprising, therefore, to find that in some areas
almost one in three women don’t
go for their smear test.
Women aged 20-35 are the
most persistent defaulters and
the biggest group never to have
had a smear.
Research carried out in 2012
into barriers to uptake identified
three main reasons for reduced
rates of cervical screening uptake, particularly among women
aged between 20-35 – fear, pain
and embarrassment.
A new campaign has now
been launched by NHS Greater
Glasgow and Clyde to tackle
these obstacles, change behaviours and increase uptake of the
Central to the ‘Smear Campaign’, which is endorsed by NHS
Highland, are three short videos
specifically aimed at each of
these issues, which have all been
well received in research, and
developed using feedback from
female focus groups.
All are humorous, but with an
underlying health message. Two
depict women in this age group
chatting in social settings, using
non-clinical language, about what
they think about the test, and a
third is a comedy dialogue between a drag queen and a young
They are being used by practice nurses during consultations
with the target audience, and are
also broadcast on solus screens
in hospitals and health centres,
sexual health clinics, and community and leisure centres.
The videos are also being
hosted on NHS Greater Glasgow
and Clyde’s YouTube channel,
Raging torrents and
hostile natives in
amazing Amazonia
IS day job, as fire
safety trainer with
might be all about
minimising risk and danger.
But risk and danger might
seem to some to be at the heart
of Emil Carlsson’s hobby – rafting down some of the world’s
most remote and dangerous rivers.
And both were in abundance
on Emil’s most recent whitewater adventure, a 30-day,
what’s been described as the
Grand Canyon of South America.
Highlights spoke to Emil last
year about the expedition, and
caught up with him this month,
just a few weeks after his adventure of a lifetime.
The 20-member expedition
down the River Maranon, the
largest tributary of the River
Amazon, involved by far the biggest and scariest rapids 33-year
-old Emil has ever tackled.
It also featured what Emil described as “tense” close encounters with a sometimes hostile
tribe that involved
throwing and threats to kill.
“The tribe, the Awajun, have
a reputation for not welcoming
outsiders, for sometimes understandable reasons,” said Emil,
who at work is based in Raigmore Hospital, Inverness. “We
had three interactions with them,
one of which was very good and
the others extremely tense.
“The last of these was on the
last day of the exhibition, and I
was still full of adrenaline when I
flew home!”
Emil, who lives in Clachna-
harry and is originally from the
Swedish island of Gotland in the
Baltic Sea, has taken part in rafting expeditions in places as far
afield as Costa Rica, Nepal, Morocco, Uganda and the United
However, the Rio Maranon
expedition was the biggest he’s
been on, and was easily the
most challenging as it was held
during the rainy season, with
particularly fast water and the
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risk of flash floods.
The exhibition had been arranged in part to raise public
awareness of plans to build a
series of 15 dams on the river,
submerging villages and vast
areas of wild and ecologically
important wilderness.
“These dams will have major
ecological and geographical implications for the entire Amazon
basin,” said Emil, “and will result
in a great many people being
relocated from their ancestral
The exhibition was essentially
in three sections: through an
area Emil described as being
“easily as grand as the Grand
Canyon in the United States,
with challenging rapids”; a lower,
flatter section; and a three-day
stretch through the Amazon jungle.
Emil, who rafted solo for most
of the trip, has good reason to
remember the first stretch. One
of the rapids was so intimidating
that it took the team three hours
to determine the safest route –
yet Emil’s raft still ‘flipped’, tipping him into the raging torrent.
“It was pretty scary,” he said.
“I was under for fully 15 seconds
and was carried about a kilometre downstream. I couldn’t overstate how challenging that
stretch was.”
As for his encounters with the
Awajun, the first was preplanned and went well. The expedition’s leader had previously
befriended the chief of an Awajun village, whose residents welcomed the expedition members
with friendly curiosity.
The team presented a leather
football to the village, and the
chief organised an ‘us-versus-
ABOVE: Tackling some white water
RIGHT: Emil with his face having been
painted by Awajun vilagers
them’ football match with bamboo sticks as goalposts.
“The kicked our ass!” joked
In their second encounter
with the Awajun the party came
upon a village whose residents
weren’t expecting them, and
their welcome was much more
Emil explained: “The Awajun
may have good reason for think-
See page 27
ing that white people will steal
their children for organ harvesting and their women to sell into
prostitution. They are therefore
very wary of strangers and so
there was a tense atmosphere
when we arrived, with a lot of
aggressive shouting.
“The tension was relieved
after the exhibition leader made
a speech to the villagers. Some
of the women of the village
came up to us after the gathering and started smearing red
paint from a local plant in our
faces, as a way of saying we
were accepted. We returned the
vour to them and it was a very
joyous atmosphere.
“We left that village late in the
day on something of a high after
that experience and rafted down
the river to camp. About a kilometre downstream we came
upon two more villages, one on
each bank. We clearly weren’t
wanted there. We heard shouts
of ‘Go and get your gun’ and
‘You are going to die’, and two
Awajun kayaks came out to intercept us. One of the Awajun
put a big stick on my raft and
demanded: ‘Why are you here?’
“They half-accepted our explanation that we were just tourists and we managed to get
away. It was our last day and it
was quite a relief to eventually
get off the river. We certainly
didn’t want to get any further into
Awajun territory!”
Emil, who took unpaid leave
from his work to go on the expedition, has no plans as yet for
another rafting adventure.
He said, “I think I’ll lead a
calmer life for a while, though I
wouldn’t mind tackling some
white water in Asia at some
stage in the future.”
Highlights helps NHS Highland Archive grow
THE NHS Highland Archive, housed in the
Highland Archive Centre
in Inverness, is growing
– thanks to an article in
last month’s Highlights.
NHS Highland board
secretary Kenny Oliver
had used Highlights to
issue an appeal to
members of staff who
came across old documents or images at their
workplace to get in
touch with him.
He’s concerned that
some material may be
lost to posterity unless it
is kept in the archive.
Within days of the
primary care assistant
manager at Argyll and
Bute, contacted Kenny
to tell him of some old
NHS regulations that he
thought would be of interest and should probably be archived.
Among the documents were the NHS
Scotland Handbook for
General Medical Practitioners from 1947, copies of the NHS Scotland
Act 1947 and copies of
regulations relating to
Colin Waller, an archivist at the centre, undertook to archive the
documents, which he
said would be an integral part of the Northern
Serving up science
with your cuppa...
FANCY coffee and a slice of science?
An informal way of engaging
with the latest topics in science
has kicked off in Waterson’s, in
the Eastgate Shopping Centre,
In Cafe Scientifique Inverness,
researchers share stores of how
touched by progress in science.
The first of these free sessions
was held on 18th March, when Dr
Lyndsay Fletcher, of the School
of Physics and Astronomy, explored the science behind the
Northern Lights.
Next up, on 22nd April, will be
Professor Paul Thompson, Chair
in Zoology, Cromarty Lighthouse
Field Station, University of Aberdeen, whose talk is entitled
‘What’s all the noise about?’ As
human activity on the oceans increases, noise pollution has become a hot topic. Professor
Thompson will consider why
sounds are so important to marine animals, and how researchers are evaluating whether wildlife is at risk from industrial noise.
On 20th May, Dr Francisco
Perez-reche, lecturer in Physics
and Life Sciences, and Dr
Stephen Torre, School of Divinity,
History and Philosophy, University of Aberdeen, will talk about
the history and philosophy of time
And on 24th June, Professor
Sandra MacRury, Professor of
Clinical Diabetes, University of
Highlands and Islands, will give a
talk entitled ‘Diabetes: Bench of
Bedside and Back’. She will explore how new research and
ways of working might help to
unravel the causes, prevention
and management of one of the
UK’s biggest health challenges.
All sessions are free and open
to everyone and run from 7-9pm.
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Regional Health Board
series within the NHS
Highland Archive.
Another addition for
the archives, which
came from a different
route, is a copy of the
programme for the service which accompanied
the laying of the foundation stone following the
Northern Infirmary in
Inverness in May 1928.
Work starts on mental health unit
WORK has begun on a new
purpose-built unit in Dundee
for young people with mental
health problems.
Earlier this month, NHS
Tayside chairman Sandy Watson carried out the official sodcutting ceremony to mark the
beginning of construction on
the new Young People’s Unit.
The £8 million development
is part of the North of Scotland
Regional Child and Adolescent
Mental Health Service project,
which is a partnership between
Tayside, Highland, Grampian,
Orkney and Shetland NHS
boards and which has seen the
establishment of a specialist
network for young people with
severe and complex mental
health problems
The will include a 12-bed
inpatient unit with an education
facility and family accommodation for patients from across
the north of Scotland.
It is expected that it will be
fully operational by spring
New booking
details for
support for
deaf and deaf/
blind people
DO your service users need communication support to help to get
the most out of NHS Highland
If so, you will need to be
aware of the changes to the
booking service arrangements for
communication support for deaf
and deaf/blind people.
From 1st April, The Highland
Council will take on this service
from Deaf Action and will provide
communication support to all areas of NHS Highland (including
Argyll & Bute CHP).
The new booking service
should be used for booking the
following types of communication
support for deaf and deaf/blind
British Sign Language
Lip speaking
Electronic note taking
 Deaf/Blind Communication Support
Moira Paton, head of community and health information ilanning, said “Communication support for deaf and deaf/blind people is a vital service that ensures
that people with a sensory impairment gain the most out of their
interaction with NHS Highland.
“We would like to thank Deaf
Action for their support in providing this service in the past, and
look forward to working with colleagues from The Highland
Council who will provide the new
For more details on how to
contact the communication booking support service, including
how to access BSL interpreters
out of hours, access the information on the Equality and Diversity
site of the staff intranet.
NHS Highland scores highly in
reporting adverse drug reactions
THE Yellow Card Centre for Scotland, the organisation responsible for helping to make medicines
safer, has recently published a report indicating
NHS Highland is the second highest health board in
Scotland for reporting adverse drugs reactions.
The figures taken from April 2012 until May last
year are in stark contrast to national statistics,
which show the number of reports have been on the
decline since 2008.
The report indicated that NHS Highland’s reporting figures increased slightly from 80 in 2011/12 to
84 the year after and that the reporting rate per
100,000 population was significantly higher, at 27,
than the Scottish average of 16.
NHS Highland medicines management development nurse Ruth Miller said on behalf of the Medicine Management Safety sub-group for NHS Highland: “This is a very positive result for NHS Highland as reporting side effects impacts on patient
safety and assists the Medicines and Healthcare
products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in monitoring
the safety of the medicines and vaccines that are
on the market.
“Information from Yellow Card reports are continually assessed at the MHRA by a team of medicine safety experts who study the benefits and risks
of medicines.
“If a new side effect is identified, information is
carefully considered in the context of the overall
side effect profile for the medicine and how the side
effect profile compares with other medicines used
to treat the same condition.”
Ruth continued: “We would encourage healthcare professionals and patients to continue reporting any adverse drug reactions by either completing
the Yellow Cards found within the British National
Formulary or by completing the information on line
- 11 -
NO SMOKING DAY: Oral health improvement practitioner led film project
Premiere showing for
The Last Cigarette
THE glitz and glamour of
Hollywood made its way to
Dunoon this month as the
town hosted a film premiere
with a difference.
On 12th March, the town was
given the red-carpet treatment as
the local cinema played host to
the world premiere of a short feature, The Last Cigarette, and a
hard-hitting documentary starring
pupils from Dunoon Grammar
School and actor David Hayman.
While the synopsis of the film
was a closely guarded secret, it
and the documentary have a ‘no
smoking day’ theme running
through them.
Fiona Duncan, an oral health
improvement practitioner for NHS
Highland based in Dunoon, led
on the project and explained that
she hoped the film and documentary would build on previous No
Smoking Day campaigns.
She said: “This all started two
years ago during previous No
Smoking Day campaigns which
were specifically targeted at first
year pupils at Dunoon Grammar
“While working with Mairi
Thomson, the school’s drama
teacher, she showed me a previous film the class had done on
domestic violence, drugs and alcohol abuse which gave me the
idea and it just took off from
Fiona explained that it took a
year to secure the necessary
funding, and accommodation for
the film crew, but filming was able
to take place over two weeks in
June last year.
She worked closely with
Shooters, the film branch of Spirit
Aid, a charity founded by the actor David Hayman, who has a
role in the short feature, which is
dedicated to improve the welfare
of children worldwide. She also
worked closely with Mairi and her
The documentary features
people talking about their personal experiences. They include
a non-smoker with mouth cancer,a smoker who has already
lost a leg and two former smokers talking about their experiences.
Fiona said: “The pupils saw
the whole filming process, and
appear in the drama. Some got to
work behind the camera, and
helped with the sound too.
“And, because both shorts
have a ‘no smoking day’ theme
running through them, the messages were ringing through loud
and clear, as they will when
watching the finished product.”
Fiona added that she had
never been so involved with the
community, and saw Dunoon at
its best with help being provided
by all four emergency services,
local businesses and the local
paper, the Dunoon Observer,
which helped with some printing
of materials.
She said: “I can’t say enough
about how helpful everyone has
been during the making of these.
“It’s a different way of delivering a very important message
and I can’t think of a better day
than No Smoking Day for the pre-
Maggie’s opens its doors to NHS Highland employees
staff who would like to know more
about Maggie’s Highlands are
being invited to professional
awareness sessions there.
The sessions are for any
member of staff of any grade or
profession who has not had the
opportunity to visit Maggie’s as
part of their staff induction.
The sessions are being held
this year on 8th May, 12th June,
31st July, 4th September, 9th October and 13th November. Next
year, they will be held on 15th
January, 19th February, 26th
March and 7th May.
Each session starts at 9am
- 12 -
and will last approximately 30
minutes, but anyone attending
will be invited to stay and join
Maggie’s meditation group at
9.30am, and the Tai Chi group at
To book email [email protected]
phone 01463 706306.
Workshop puts spotlight on person-centred care
the focus of a one-day workshop
held earlier this month in Arrochar, Argyll and Bute.
Caring Connections brought
together more than 100 people
from across Argyll and Bute saw
people who have experienced
health and social care services
meet with health and social care
professionals to discuss what
principles should be in place to
ensure that the care provided in
Argyll and Bute is respectful, caring and person centred.
Pat Tyrrell, lead nurse in Argyll
and Bute, explained that the day
focused on what can be done to
ensure that people are being listened to, inspiring and motivating
people providing and receiving
care, bringing person-centred
care to life in each health and
care setting and helping people
talk about their practice or experience of care and support.
She added: “This will be the
beginning of a network that will
go from strength to strength in
making sure that our health and
social care services learn and
develop from the experiences
that people share with us.”
Those present also heard from
a carer and a patient who shared
their experiences, what worked
for them and what didn’t.
The first speaker was Tommy
Whitelaw, a full-time carer from
Glasgow who looked after his
mother following her diagnosis of
dementia. He now devotes his
time touring to raise awareness
of the impact of dementia on
families and the difficult but vital
role played by carers.
The event also heard from a
patient from Dunoon who shared
his experiences of care services,
looking at both the positive and
negative aspects.
TECHNOLOGY: Assurance issued on security following review
Email log-ins outside NHS
network to be changed
CHANGES are being made
to the NHSmail log-in page
that members of staff see
when you they are on
a computer outside the NHS
(N3) network (white log-in
At the moment, when you go
to from a computer
that is outside the NHS
(N3) network, you are prompted
to enter the first three characters
of your NHSmail password into
an on-screen keyboard.
When the changes are made,
the on-screen keyboard will no
longer appear and you will enter
your whole password using your
computer/device keyboard.
There has been a thorough
review of the security of NHSmail
and an assurance has been issued that the level of security of
your NHSmail account will be
On password security, you will
never be asked to disclose your
password in full in any other
place than on the NHSmail log-in
page at (either inside or outside of the NHS). If
you are prompted to enter your
password on any other website,
or asked for it over the phone,
you should regard the request as
attempted fraud and report it to
the national NHSmail helpdesk –
[email protected]
It is also planned to make it
easier for you to retain access to
your account.
At the moment, if your password expires you have to change
- 13 -
it from an NHS-connected computer (blue log-in screen). The
same applies if you are locked
out of your account - your Local
Organisation Administrator (LOA)
must reset it and you have to
then change it from an NHSconnected computer before you
can log in.
To make things easier for you,
there will be the facility to change
your password from a non-NHS
connected computer after it has
expired or been reset by your
When you go to the NHSmail
log-in page at, if
your password needs to be
changed, the reset password box
will appear.
If you have any questions,
contact [email protected]
ARGYLL AND BUTE: Raymond keen to develop service
CHP gets new
lead chaplain
ARGYLL and Bute Community
Health Partnership has appointed
Raymond Deans as the new lead
chaplain for the CHP.
Raymond started in his new
role in February and will be working closely with staff, patients and
carers across Argyll and Bute.
He had previously been working part-time as a chaplain on
Bute for 10 years.
Raymond said: “This is a new
venture and I am looking forward
to working with my colleagues in
Campbeltown and Oban as we
seek to develop the chaplaincy.
“I have tried to establish a routine of visiting Dunoon on Monday, Bute on Tuesday, Helens-
burgh on Wednesday and Lochgilphead on Thursday and sometimes Friday as well — not that
this is a rigid list, but it should
help staff to know when to expect
He added: “As part of my work
to develop the chaplaincy service, I am happy to meet with
staff, patients and carers at any
time and will be providing training
on spiritual care to staff over the
coming months and years.
“I would also like to develop
chaplaincy visits for patients who
are being cared for in their own
homes and who might value a
visit by the chaplain, even though
they have not actually been in the
hospital itself or have now been
Mary Wilson, Allied Health
Professional lead for the CHP,
who will be managing the chaplaincy service, said: “Raymond is
very experienced and extremely
enthusiastic and I know that he is
looking forward to embracing the
challenges and opportunities of
his new role.”
Healthcare professionals
start their new jobs on Islay
NHS HIGHLAND has appointed two new health
professionals for the communities of Islay and Jura.
GIll Hearle commenced on 3rd March in her new
role as senior charge nurse in Islay Hospital.
Her move to Islay follows a career in the Queen
Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, during
which time Gill worked in Germany, Cyprus, New
Zealand, Oman, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Gill is qualified as an advanced nurse practitioner and her most recent experience was in primary
and pre-hospital care with previous roles in burns
and intensive care units.
Gillian Nelson-Edwards this month started work
in her new role as public health nurse for Islay and
Jura, having previously worked for five years in
child health in London.
Gillian is originally from Islay and her move to
the island was predominantly fuelled by the desire
to give her own young family a chance to experience the freedom and outdoor space that it has to
Commenting on these new appointments Alison
Guest, clinical services manager for Islay, said: “I
am really delighted to welcome Gill and Gillian to
NHS Highland.
“They bring with them a wide range of experience and I am sure they will both be a great addition to our team on Islay.”
- 14 -
CAMPBELTOWN: Sunroom shines in prestigious national award scheme
TAFF and patients
Hospital have been
celebrating after the
Sunroom at the hospital was
given a prestigious national
award, the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark.
Based in the in-patients unit,
the Sunroom provides a dedicated environment to meet the
needs of those with palliative
care requirements and their relatives.
It provides a more homely environment for those who may require being in hospital for symptom management or care at the
end of their lives. It also provides
relatives’ accommodation to enable them to remain close by and
it has access to the garden
through patio doors, allowing patients and families to enjoy the
outdoor space.
The award recognises and
rewards good practice and high
standards within the physical environment of a cancer care building.
unit makes
its mark
The Sunroom is among only
18 sites in Scotland to be given
the award, which has been developed in collaboration with people
living with cancer and organisations including the NHS.
Kitty Millar, Macmillan nurse
for Kintyre, said: “We are delighted with this award as it is an
acknowledgment of the hard work
Pictured, from left, are Kirsteen Graham, support services manager, Campbeltown Hospital; Maggie Wilkinson, Macmillan, nurse
for Kintyre; Kitty Millar, Macmillan nurse for Kintyre, and Elaine
Hamilton, associate Macmillan development manager
- 15 -
of staff. We are very grateful to
Macmillan Cancer Support and
all the local fundraisers and donations we receive which makes
the Sunroom possible”.
Donnie Cameron, clinical services manager for Kintyre, said:
“Everyone in Campbeltown Hospital is delighted with the award
which is a reflection of the hard
work and dedication of all staff. It
is not merely the caring attitude
of the nurses but the diligence
and cheerful demeanour of domestic staff and the willingness of
catering staff to adapt menus
which makes the Sunroom such
a special place.”
Elaine Hamilton, associate
Macmillan development manager, said: “This award reflects
the hard work and dedication of
everyone involved in making the
Sunroom at Campbeltown Hospital such a special place.
“Assessors found that staff
worked extremely hard to create
a welcoming atmosphere and
that staff are committed to providing high quality care in a comfortable environment. their hard
NHS Highland
in national effort
for IBD patients
NHS HIGHLAND is paving the way nationally in
providing better standards of care for people with
inflammatory bowel disease.
With the north of Scotland having the highest
reported incidence of both Crohn’s disease and colitis in the UK, NHS Highland and another Scottish
health board were recently chosen to work with the
charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK on using the results
of a national inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) audit to improve care.
NHS Highland IBD lead clinical nurse specialist
Dave Armour said: “We were chosen not only because of the high incidence in the area but because
as a team we are already at the forefront of innovative work with research and technology and have a
good relationship with the local Crohn’s and Colitis
UK Highlands and Islands Support Group.
“As well as providing a nurse-led IBD clinic three
times a week we now have a joint weekly clinic
which is led by consultant gastroenterologist Lindsay Potts, specialist gastroenterology dietician Lisa
Macleman and myself.
“For more severe cases at Raigmore Hospital in
Inverness our Infusion Suite provides high-level biological therapy and iron infusion. While patients get
their treatments we have the opportunity for face-toface education and counselling, which can make a
vast difference to patients’ quality of life.
“We are also trying different approaches to help
our patients manage their symptoms long term.
There is a telephone advice line for patients, carers,
and health professionals. Our research colleagues
Dave Armour and Lisa Macleman pictured in the
Raigmore Infusion Suite
are piloting the use of smartphone technology to
track patients’ daily health, and we are using other
methods such as mindfulness and psychology.”
Lisa Macleman added: “Patients who have these
conditions recognise the benefit of seeing a dietitian
as research about food and IBD is often conflicting.
My role is to promote evidence-based research on
food, health and disease and translate this into
practical guidance to enable patients to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.”
“A significant number of patients with IBD have
or are at risk of developing malnutrition. We are
working to ensure that all IBD patients admitted to
hospital have access to a dietitian even if they are
not on the gastroenterology ward.”
NHS Highland’s ‘Who We Are’ Twitter account –
@NHSHWhoWeAre – this week has the IBD/
gastroenterology team members tweeting about the
condition and their roles. The team also has a resource website available to both members of the
Headway Highland plans new social group
HEADWAY Highland, the brain injury association, is
to hold an information day at Skye and Lochalsh
Council for Voluntary Organisations, Tigh Lisigarry,
Portree, on Tuesday 22nd April.
Headway are looking to set up a local social
group for anyone who has sustained a brain injury,
perhaps as a result of an accident, stroke or disease.
The group would have a range of activities, such
as arts and crafts, guest speakers, befriending, outings and free counselling.
Brain injury survivors, family members, carers
and professionals will all be welcome at the information day, which will run from 2-7pm.
For further information, contact Susanne on
07767 416006.
- 16 -
OLDER PEOPLE: Need to reshape care provision
networkers play
key role
THE demographic of Scotland is changing. In future
years, Highland’s older people will form a greater proportion of the population
than ever before.
With the population aged 65
and over expected to increase by
50% during the next 20 years,
and with increasing life expectancy, the number of over-90s
will treble in the same period.
These changes will mean that
there will be increasing pressures
on health and social care services in the future, requiring a
shift away from institutional care
towards care and support for
people in a community setting –
effectively reshaping care for
older people (RCOP).
In order to help face this
demographic shift, 11 new RCOP
community networkers are now in
post across the Highland region.
Among the aims of these new
posts is to support the shift of resources into community-based
support and preventative care.
They will help to identify what
support is required for carers and
for existing services and what
new initiatives are needed to help
improve the lives and outcomes
for older people in the Highlands.
RCOP development officer
Michelle Manzie said: “The future
shape of healthcare services will
be very different in the future,
with resources shifted from institutional care into preventative
care and community based support. Partners in NHS Highland,
local government and the third
sector are committed to working
with older people to ensure their
health older people to ensure
their health and wellbeing is optimised and that community support is improved.
“The community networkers
will play a very valuable role in
helping to develop and support
those community services which
help to keep people independent
and healthy and able to live for
longer in their own homes and
Community networker for Inverness East, Ruth Cleland,
added: “One of the biggest challenges we face is loneliness and
isolation, which is in itself a barrier to health and independence.
“It is so important that people
feel part of and connected to their
communities in which they live
and that they are able to access
services and information which
can help them remain independent.
“We want to see older people
enjoy full and healthier lives, able
to look after themselves and
each other and staying active in
their communities for as long as
- 17 -
Volunteers raise
awareness of
THE breastfeeding peer supporters who volunteer for NHS Highland held a breastfeeding awareness event at Falcon Square, Inverness, earlier this month.
They wanted to hold the event
following a recent episode in
Staffordshire where Emily Slough
was insulted on-line for feeding
her eight-month-old daughter
Matilda in public.
Peer supporter Tania
Daschofsky said: “I breastfeed
my son wherever he needs fed
and I have never had anything
negative said to me. By having
this event we want to raise the
awareness of breastfeeding in
public and support women in
their choice to breastfeed.”
Spam email alert
A WARNING has been issued
about a spam email being sent to
members of the public regarding
cancer test results.
The National Institute for
Health and Care Excellence
(NICE) has posted a warning on
its website to assure people that
this email is not from NICE and to
state that its origin is being investigated. Further information can
be found on the NICE website or
its associated Twitter account:
Traffic warning
WORK continues to install a biomass boiler at Raigmore Hospital. During this time, while all efforts will be made to keep it to a
minimum, some disruption to car
parking and flow of traffic near
the site will be unavoidable at
Statistics offer insights
into autism in Highland
AUTISM will probably affect
about one in 100 people in
the Highland area. There are
some people who will have
the condition but are not yet
Susan Boyle recently revealed
that, aged 52, she had been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome,
which is a condition within the
autism spectrum. How could
someone live for over half a century without diagnosis?
According to Faith Wilson,
NHS Highland professional lead,
this is more common than you
might think.
She said: “It can be difficult to
diagnose an adult with autism
because it’s quite important to
have a patient’s early development history in order to gain an
accurate diagnostic result. Obviously, the older someone gets,
their memory fades of how they
were as a child.
“If someone is referred to us in
their early 50s, it could be that
their parents have died and they
might not have any older siblings
that can remember their behavioural patterns as a youngster.
“This can be an issue as it’s
important to look at a patient’s
early development, as there is
quite a difference between autism
and Aspergers neurodevelopment patterns before and after
the age of three.”
Faith works part-time as an
autism diagnostician at Autism
Initiatives in Albion House, an
autism resource centre in Inverness. She assesses people referred to her by GPs as being
suspected of having autism, delivers training and is involved with
development to progress the autism strategy in Highland.
Faith has compiled a number
of statistics over the last two
years which reveal some interesting insights into autism in Highland.
Faith said: “We looked at
some referral and diagnostic figures from the last two years and
the results made for interesting
reading. Unsurprisingly, there are
more males than females living
with autism in Highland, which
reflects the national statistics.
“However, there was a rise in
the number of referrals in the
past year – especially the number
of females self-referring. Referral
figures have doubled for adults in
Highland during this period.
“I think high-profile figures
such as Susan Boyle publicly revealing that she lives with autism
has certainly increased awareness and understanding of how
difficult it can be for some people
who may have had life-long experiences of bullying, misdiagnosis and social exclusion.
“It is very common to hear
people speak of their relief upon
diagnosis as it is almost like a
weight has been lifted from their
minds. Many people have told me
how they have had to almost act
like a different person each and
every day simply to ‘fit in’ with the
expectations of the rest of society.
“What these statistics also
show is that there has to be improved referral criteria to help
prevent inappropriate referrals.
The assessment process is constantly evolving and changing,
the ADOS assessment tool has
recently been upgraded to reflect
the new diagnostic criteria, and it
can be difficult to keep up with
the pace – especially when I am
working part-time in this position.”
Nurse lands Commonwealth Games voluntary role
INVERNESS-BASED clinical research nurse Fiona
Leslie has successfully applied to join the huge
team of volunteers at this year’s Commonwealth
And Fiona has used the Staff News Drop Box on
the NHS intranet to try to find out if there will be
anyone else from NHS Highland on the team.
“It would be nice to be able to make contact with
them,” said Fiona, who will find out in May exactly
what her role during the Games will be.
If you will be taking part in the Games as a volunteer, please let us know by contacting communications
[email protected]
- 18 -
An Aghaidh Mhòr agus an
t-Ath Leathann air an
taghadh airson ospadail ùr
Tha e air a thighinn am bàrr gur e
An Aghaidh Mhòr agus an t-Ath
Leathann na h-àitean a chaidh an
taghadh sa Ghàidhealtachd airson
ospadail ùr.
Air 11 Màirt thagh am buidheann
stiùiridh a tha a’ coimhead a-steach
do ath-dhealbhachadh sheirbheisean
slàinte agus cùram sòisealta inbhich
san Eilean Sgitheanach, Loch Aillse
agus Iar Dheas Rois gur e an t-Ath
Leathann a b’ fheàrr airson ospadal
ùr sa sgìre.
Seachdain roimhe sin, chaidh
aontachadh aig coinneamh shònraichte de bhòrd Sheirbheis Slàinte
na Gàidhealtachd, gun deidheadh
gabhail ri co-chomhairle trì mìosan
ann am Bàideanach agus Srath Spè,
far an do rinneadh mion-sgrùdadh
mur tha de ath-dhealbhachadh
sheirbheisean coimhearsnachd.
Mar thoradh air a-sin, tha a h-uile
coltas ann gun tèid gabhail ri atharrachadh – ospadal ùr coimhearsnachd agus ionad ghoireasan a
Dr Boyd Peters aig Ospadal Iain Teàrlach ann am Baile nan Granndach
leasachadh san Aghaidh Mhòr, a’
toirt toiseach tòiseachaidh do athdhealbhadh nas motha ann an
seirbheisean slàinte is cùram
sòisealta agus a dùnadh Ospadal
Iain Theàrlaich ann am Baile nan
Granndach agus Ospadal an Naoimh Vincent ann an Cinn a’ Ghiùthsaich.
Ospadal An Naoimh Vincent, Cinn Ghiùthsaich
- 19 -
Mar phàirt den cho-chomhairle
fhoirmeil seo thèid làraich ùra a
shireadh san Aghaidh Mhòr airson
an ospadail ùr agus an ionad
Anns an Eilean Sgitheanach,
Loch Aillse agus Iar Dheas Rois
chaidh mion-sgrùdadh a dhèanamh
airson faicinn dè an coltas a bhiodh
air goireas sheirbheisean san àm ri
teachd. Chaidh aontachadh gun
deidheadh an dà ospadal san sgìre,
san Ath Leathann agus Port Righ, an
Mhol am buidheann stiùiridh gum
bu chòir prìomh ionad ghoireasan
coimhearsnachd agus ospadal
(seòrsa de ‘hub’) a chruthachadh
ann am fear seach fear de na
bailtean agus goireas beag nas
lugha san t’ eile. Chaidh am beachd
seo a thoirt fa chomhair a’ bhùird aig
coinneamh sònraichte air 4 Màirt
agus chaidh aontachadh gun deidheadh an làrach a b’ fheàrr a chomharrachadh.
A’ leantainn air adhart
air duilleag 21
An Aghaidh Mhòr agus an t-Ath Leathann
air an taghadh airson ospadail ùr
A’ leantainn air adhart bho
dhuilleag 20
Mheas a’ bhuidheann stiùiridh a
tha ag ath-dhealbhachadh
sheirbheisean, gur h-e an t- Ath
Leathann an t-àite a bu fhreagarraiche airson an ionaid as motha
agus gur e Port Righ a bu fhreagarraiche airson na t’ eile.
Ach cha deach aontachadh sam
bith a dhèanamh air dè an dearbh
làrach a bhiodh ann.
Thèid an tuilleadh sgrùdaidh a
dhèanamh a-nis air grunn làraich
agus thèid dèanamh cinnteach
cuideachd gun tèid beachd a thoirt
air gach làrach a b’ urrainnear a
bhith freagarrach. Ach, a chionn ’s
gur ann le Seirbheis Slàinte na Gàidhealtachd a tha an talamh ri taobh
an Ionaid Slàinte san Ath Leathann,
thèid sealltainn ris an làrach sin sa
chiad àite.
Nuair a thèid na làraich as freagarraiche an taghadh thèid molaidhean a chuir air adhart aig an ath
choinneamh den bhòrd sa Ghiblein
a’ thòisicheas co-chomhairle foirmeil
trì mìosan a sheallas ri modal lànsheirbheis agus làrach a dh’fhaodadh an cleachdadh.
Nuair a thèid sin a dhèanamh
thèid na molaidhean mu dheireadh
an cuir mu choinneimh a’ bhùird
agus an uairsin mu choinneimh
mhinistearan an Riaghaltais.
Ghabhadh am prìomh làrach a
tha san amharc farsaingeachd de
ghoireasan leithid Seirbheis Charbad
-eiridinn na h-Alba, cùram sòisealta
agus slàinte coimhearsnachd, a thilleadh air goireasan airson euslaintich a bhiodh a’ fuireach an oidhche,
goireasan rannsachaidh leithid x-ray
agus endoscopy, rùm airson mionobair-lannsair, endoscopy,
seirbheisean chemotherapy agus
fala agus na prìomh ghoireasan a
gheibhear a-mach à ospadal leithid
sheirbheisean orthopaedic, surgical,
broilleach agus ENT.
Ghabhadh an t-àite na bu lugha
seirbheisean a-mach à ospadal
Ospadal Cuimhneachaidh Mhic Fhionghain, an t-Ath Leathann
Ospadal Phort Rìgh
leithid seirbheisean-èiginn
bunaiteach, ionad airson leòntan
nach eil ro èiginneach agus àite
obrach do sgioba coimhearsnachd
Seirbheis Slàinte na Gàidhealtachd
airson ceann a’ Tuath an eilein. Ach,
cha bhiodh leapannan idir innte.
Leis gu bheil aire a’ mhòrshluaigh, mar a bhiodhte a’ sùileachadh, gu geur air gum faodadh
ospadail a bhith a’ dùnadh agus
feadhainn eile gan togail, bha am
bòrd airson dèanamh cinnteach aig
a’ choinneimh shònraichte a bh’ aca
air a’ mhìos seo gun robh gu leòr ri
dhèanamh fhathast mus deidheadh
tòiseachadh air obair togail sam bith.
“Tha sinne ann an teis mheadhan
pròiseis dha rìreabh fada far am
bheil cur-a-steach an t-sluaigh anns
an dà choimhearsnachd cudromach”
thuirt Maimie Nic Thòmais, ceannard
“Tha mi a’ tuigsinn gum bi daoine
a’ dlùth amharc air na h-ospadail
anns gach àite, ach bu mhath leam a
- 20 -
dhèanamh gu math soilleir nach eil
dad cinnteach fhathast”.
Thuirt Cathraiche Seirbheis
Slàinte na Gàidhealtachd, Garry
Coutts gur e “cothrom air leth” a bha
seo a thaobh ath-dhealbhachaidh
dhan dà àite.
“Tha e mìorbhaileach a bhith an
comas a bhith aig an ìre seo leis an
dà choimhearsnachdan seo”. Ameasg na bha làthair bha Dave Mac
Thòmais, Ball Pàrlamaid na h-Alba
airson an Eilein Sgitheanaich, Loch
Aillse agus Bàideanach, a thuirt ris a’
bhòrd: “Tha mise gu math toilichte
leis mar a thathas a dèiligeadh ri
cùisean agus tha mi a’ toirt mo lànthaic dhuibh.
“Cha robh trioblaidean a th’ air a
bhith aig Bàideanach & Srath Spè
agus an Eilean Sgitheanach, Loch
Aillse agus Iar Dheas Rois idir gu
bhith furasta dèiligeadh riutha ach
tha e air a bhith na chuideachadh
leis mar a tha daoine air a bhith air
an toirt a-steach dhan chùis”.
Raising awareness and
understanding of SDS
OVER 100 people were in
attendance at the Highland
Self-Directed Support (SDS)
service user and carer event
at Smithton Church in Inverness earlier this month.
of presentations and workshops
helping them gain a greater understanding of the Social Care
and Self-Directed Support
(Scotland) Act, which comes into
force from 1st April.
Health professionals, social
workers, parents, carers and service users were treated to a host
The event was the culmination
of a week-long series of events
throughout Highland aimed at
This is one of the best things
to have happened to me!
AFTER six months working in an
administrative role with the SelfDirected Support team in Inverness, Daniel Windsor was planning a move to pastures new.
The 21-year-old’s contract expired on St Patrick’s Day and he
admitted that he was sad to be
leaving what he called a ‘familylike team’ in Kinmylies.
However, after an eleventhhour intervention, Dan’s stay with
the team was extended for the
next six weeks.
“I’m really pleased I get to
work for a little bit longer with the
team as I’ve thoroughly enjoyed
my time here,” said Daniel. “The
whole experience has been really
positive and I have achieved all
my goals in a short period of
Daniel lives with Asperger
syndrome and often finds it difficult to socialise with people before getting to know them. When
Highlights caught up with the
SDS team’s newest recruit in October last year, Daniel was hope-
ful that his new job would help
improve his confidence and social skills.
“My confidence has improved
greatly and I’m now more outgoing and better at communicating
with people I don’t know.
“It’s fair to say that getting this
job was one of the best things to
ever happen to me.
“I hope to take what I have
learned in my time here and apply it to any jobs I get in the future. I have applied for a few
clerical positions and for some
volunteer work. This is something
I simply wouldn’t have had the
confidence to do before.”
Natalie Thomson, SDS social
worker, has worked closely with
Daniel over his six-month supported employment contract – an
opportunity presented to NHS
Highland after linking up with Capability Scotland.
She is delighted with the progress he has made and is thrilled
Dan’s contract has been extended.
- 21 -
raising awareness of SDS and
focusing on mental health, children’s services and service users
and carers.
Highland SDS team manager
Jennifer Campbell said: “We
were thrilled with the turnout at
our event yesterday. With over
100 people in attendance, it
shows that there is eagerness in
Highland for people to find out
more about Self-Directed Support
and how it can help people take
control of their own lives.
“The atmosphere throughout
the day was amazing and there
were some excellent networking
opportunities taking place. The
feedback we received was extremely positive and people left
with a far greater understanding
of SDS, which was the aim of the
entire week.
“It has been an extremely
positive week and with less than
a month to go until the Act comes
into force, the SDS team here in
Highland will continue to work as
hard as ever to ensure all the
proper procedures are in place to
help people make the transition
The star attraction of the event
was a presentation by Simon
Duffy, the director of the Centre
for Welfare Reform. Simon was
heavily involved in the creation of
the modern SDS and hopes that
people in Highland embrace the
Act once it comes into force.
“It would be excellent if people
can see how flexible SDS is and
how much they can make it work
for them in their lives,” said
Conference looks at older people’s needs
‘GETTING Behind the Future – A
Vision for Older People in Cowal
and Bute’ was the name of a conference recently hosted by Cowal
Community Care Forum.
The conference was well attended and the aim was to get
NHS Highland and Argyll and
Bute Council working together,
while involving the public, in de-
signing new health and social
care services.
Argyll and Bute CHP lead
nurse Pat Tyrrell commented:
‘’The conference was an excellent opportunity to meet with a
wide range of members of the
local community, to learn about
the innovative approaches and
services that are being developed
and delivered locally and to consider what else will be required to
address future needs within the
“The motivation and commitment of those providing local services was inspiring as was the
positive feedback from people
who experience these services
on a daily basis.’’
SEMINAR: Rural practitioner uses event to raise awareness of issue
Sports concussion seen as
under-recognised problem
AN NHS Highland doctor is
calling for greater recognition of the seriousness of
concussion in sport.
Dr Jonathan Hanson, a rural
practitioner based on Skye, believes that raising awareness of
the issues around concussion will
help to ensure that people can
take part in sport more safety –
and enjoy the many health benefits it brings.
Dr Hanson underlined the
point as one of the speakers at a
seminar on the pitch-side and
primary care management of
concussion in Aberdeen. The
seminar was part of a sports and
exercise medicine course by the
University of Aberdeen.
“Head injury in sport is certainly a hot topic these days and I
hope that the seminar will contribute further to raising awareness
of concussion and the problems
associated with it,” said Dr Hanson. “Concussion is a major problem that is under recognised and
must be taken seriously by parents, teachers, sports people,
administrators and medics.”
He added: “Exercise is the single most important thing people
can do to help their health and
we need to encourage more people to exercise and participate in
sport safely if we are to address
the ticking timebomb we face in
terms of health issues such as
obesity and diabetes.”
Dr Hanson, who graduated
from Aberdeen University, was a
member of the Team GB medical
team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is team doctor for the Scotland ’A’ rugby squad, resuscitation physician for the Scotland
rugby squad and doctor for the
Team GB mountain running
But it’s his particular interest in
sports concussion that will be the
focus of his Aberdeen talk.
Dr Hanson explained that
there had been a number of highprofile cases involving concussion in recent times.
In the United States, the National Football League has been
involved in a multi-million dollar
- 22 -
compensation case for former
American footballers who have
had early-onset dementia. Last
year, the first death in Northern
Ireland, and probably in the UK,
due to second impact syndrome
was recorded at the inquest of a
14-year-old rugby player. And in
football, there was controversy
over Spurs goalkeeper Hugo
Lloris being allowed to play on
despite having been concussed.
Dr Hanson added: “The Scottish Government has issued an
excellent document to every
sports club in the country. It’s
called ‘Sports Concussion’, and
has the sub-heading ‘Concussion
can be fatal’.
“Sports concussion is not a
minor issue, which is why it is
vital that we raise awareness of
the signs and symptoms of concussion and of the best practice
guidelines on dealing with head
injury in sport.”
His talk, ‘Concussion – who
has the responsibility?’, was delivered in Aberdeen Sports Village on 25th March.
group on
the look-out
for more
continues to grow from
strength to strength.
This voluntary service is grateful for the people of Caithness
who are happy to become volunteers and commit their time to the
scheme, but says volunteers are
continually needed to meet the
Befriending is a supported one
-to-one relationship between a
befriender(volunteer) and a befriendee (someone who has been
referred to to the service). It
gives the befriendee a chance to
form a trusting non-judgemental
relationship. Befriending usually
means meeting with each other
once a week and sharing in an
activity which has been mutually
The service currently has a
befriending group that meets in
Wick once a month and is hoping
to start the same activity in
It usually meets in a local coffee shop and has visited the following, Caithness Horizons
Thurso, an art exhibition in St
Fergus Gallery and The Distillery
in Wick, and many more events
are to take place in the future.
The volunteers attend a volunteer befriending meeting every
two months which gives everyone
a chance to meet each other and
exchange ideas, and attend further training.
Various special events are
held, such as at Christmas 2013
we they met lunch. Befriending
Volunteers and Befriendees completed a quiz, had time to chat
with one and other and were entertained by one of the volunteers
who delivered a monologue. It is
hoped to do more of this in the
Befriending Caithness is are
involved with intergenerational
work and have been involved
with Wick High School delivering
tea parties and sing-alongs in
local residential homes and day
centres, which have proved very
Referrals can be made by
- 23 -
health care professionals, support workers, family or other voluntary organisations who recognise a need in an individual. Self
referrals are also welcomed.
Once a referral has been made a
home visit is arranged where the
individual needs of the befriendee
is assessed and matched up to
one of our trained volunteers who
will become their befriender.
For further information contact
Angie House, befriending coordinator, [email protected] or
on 01955 609962.
You can also check out
HE Northern Lights
never fail
to captivate, but these images, which were
tweeted by Skyebased rural practitioner Jonathan
Hanson, show
them at their best.
If you have any
photographs taken
from — or indeed
of — an NHS Highland building,
please submit
them to Highlights.
Please send your
[email protected]
- 24 -
TIGH NA DROCHAID: Significant improvement in grading for facility
Politician praises palliative
care partnership on Skye
A PALLIATIVE care partner-
ship set up one year ago
has been visited by Dave
w ho
praised the scheme’s ongoing support to patients suffering life-limiting conditions.
The innovative partnership,
the first of its kind in rural Scotland, was set up in February
2013 after NHS Highland secured
funding from Macmillan Cancer
Support for the post and chose to
partner with Boots UK.
Cancer is often the toughest
fight many people will face. In
2009, Boots UK and Macmillan
entered into a long-term partnership with the ambition of giving
everyone, wherever they are in
the UK, access to the best cancer
information and support in their
local community.
Patients with life limiting conditions on Skye have direct access
to a specially trained pharmacist
available in the Boots UK store in
Portree.Working alongside health
and social care professionals,
Macmillan palliative care rural
pharmacist practitioner Gill Harrington advises on different medicine choices and different ways
- 25 -
of giving medicines if people cannot swallow tablets or capsules.
To support this close working
relationship, Gill also visits patients at the local care homes on
a regular basis and both community hospitals on the island, giving
pharmaceutical care guidance to
the nurses who otherwise would
have no input from pharmacy
In addition, a new drop-in
clinic started in September 2013
for patients and carers to access
advice and information on life limiting conditions. This allows for
Continued on next page
Skye palliative care partnership
Continued from previous page
the treatment in the community
and reduces the need for hospital
Researchers from the University of Strathclyde are working
with the project partners to develop the new service and will be
asking patients, carers
and healthcare and social care
professionals, about what they
think is needed so that the service can be tailored to local
Mr Thompson, SNP MSP for
Skye, Badenoch and Strathspey,
visited the team earlier this month
to learn more about how the partnership is making a difference to
the local community.
He said: “Having a healthcare
system that is able to work together to meet the needs of the
local community is vital, especially so in an area as rural as
Skye where local access is very
“Meeting Gill and the rest of
the team gave me a real insight
into this fantastic partnership,
which is supporting patients and
families through what is a very
Having a healthcare
system that is able
to work together to
meet the needs of
the local community
is vital, especially so
in an area as rural
as Skye where local
access is very
traumatic time.”
Fiona Macfarlane, healthcare
development manager at Boots
UK, said: “Since this post was
established last year, we’ve
helped lots of people suffering
from life-limiting conditions that
have physical as well as emotional symptoms. What makes
this partnership important is not
just the prescription advice Gill is
able to offer patients but the role
she plays in providing training to
other health and social care pro-
fessionals in the area, and the
way in which she acts as a
source of information to sign post
people to other services that they
may benefit from.
“Community pharmacy has an
important part to play in helping
to alleviate the strain on the NHS
in Scotland by providing community-based services. Boots UK is
always keen to work in partnership with other care providers to
ensure patients and customers
can access the best possible
care in a location that is convenient to them.”
Gill Harrington, Macmillan palliative care rural practitioner community pharmacist, said “I’ve
been delighted to take on the role
of providing this service which
has made such a difference to
the lives of patients and families
within the local community.
“Having the ability to travel to
visit patients in their own homes
and to build close relationships
with those we are caring for really
helps me to understand individual
needs and offer advice that can
assist in treating the physical and
emotional aspects of palliative
Government to consult on gender gap on boards
MANDATORY quotas to ensure
at least 40 per cent of public
boards are made up of women
could bridge the gender gap and
create more effective boards,
Equalities Minister Shona Robison has said.
Ms Robison revealed that the
Scottish Government was launching a consultation on the issue of
women’s representation and
gathering views on how we could
best use the power to legislate to
address this imbalance, if re-
quired. Currently this power sits
with the UK Government.
The consultation, which is set
to launch in April, will ask
whether mandatory quotas are
essential for public boards, and if
potential legislation should be
extended to corporate boards
and third-sector organisations.
Ms Robison said: “Although
we have much to celebrate with
the advances we have made to
recognise and promote women’s
issues, it’s clear that even in this
- 26 -
day and age we still have gender
inequality on our public boards.
“A board needs to reflect the
people it serves and this in turn
will make it better equipped to
deal with decision making and
improve its performance.”
She added: “Scottish women
make up 52 per cent of our population. They clearly have a voice
to be heard and we will do all that
we can to make sure this happens by driving forward this consultation on legislation.”
CANCER CARE: Services transformed at Lorn & Islands Hospital
New chemotherapy
suite opens in Oban
CANCER care in Oban is being transformed with the
opening of new and improved chemotherapy services at Lorn & Islands Hospital.
The new chemotherapy suite
should provide comfort to those
receiving treatment for cancer
within Lorn & Islands Hospital
and is jointly funded by NHS
Highland and Macmillan Cancer
Support. It was specifically designed to provide a more pleasant and welcoming environment
for patients and carers but also
provides two private areas with a
much needed information point
and a quiet private area for those
who would benefit from privacy
and confidentiality.
The chemotherapy suite was
officially opened by Councillor
Elaine Robertson in January.
Veronica Kennedy, locality
manager for Oban, Lorn and Isles
said: “I am delighted by the opening today of the new chemotherapy suite in Lorn & Islands Hospital. The hospital has benefited
greatly from the generosity of
Macmillan investing in this local
service and we have supported
the development of a welcoming,
bright unit for our local community to receive a wide range of
“The service has continued to
grow and develop over the last
10 years and this has led to many
patients receiving treatment lo-
cally rather than having to travel
considerable distances to attend
other units. I would also like to
thank the local Macmillan nurses
who have been very involved in
deciding the design, decoration
and soft furnishings of the unit.’’
Elspeth Atkinson, director,
Macmillan Cancer Support said:
“Macmillan wants to ensure everyone affected by cancer in Oban
receives the best treatment, information and support and in the
most supportive environment.
The new and improved chemotherapy suite will make an enormous difference to cancer patients and their families.
“It’s thanks to the hard work
and dedication of our supporters
in the area who raise so much
money for us that we are able to
make such a significant contribution to this important project.
“We don’t want anyone to face
cancer alone, and the continued
support of people in Oban will
help make sure nobody does.’’
Pictured, from left, are Veronica Kennedy, locality manager,
Lorn & Islands Hospital; Councillor Elaine Robertson; and Elspeth Atkinson, director, Macmillan Cancer Support
- 27 -
Living with ME
MEMBERS of the Lochaber ME
group held an information day on
the illness last month at the Fort
William Health Centre.
The event was organised by
group founder Meg Pollock and
saw her give an insight into her
personal experience of living with
Myalgic encephalomyelitis. The
day was well attended by GPs,
allied health professionals and
NHS Highland Lochaber district
manager Joanna Hynd.
“I was delighted to attend the
ME information day in Fort William and it was very moving to
hear the personal experiences of
people who have lived with the
illness for so many years,” said
“It is hard to comprehend how
everyday tasks like brushing your
teeth or combing your hair can
leave you physically and mentally
The event also saw Dr Charles
Shepherd, medical adviser to the
ME Association, give a talk on
recent biomedical research, diagnosis and management of patients with ME.
Locality clinical lead Dr James
Douglas said: “This was a useful
opportunity to discuss chronic
fatigue syndrome with GPs and
the community care teams.
“We felt privileged to have the
UK’s national medical expert on
the condition to consider the
medical science of the illness and
the patient’s perspective on how
their lives have been affected.
“Protected Learning Time sessions in Lochaber are always a
great opportunity for the whole
community team of doctors,
nurses, AHPS and students to
learn from each other and from
our patients.”
An evening question and answer session at the Alexandra
Hotel included a discussion on
vaccinations, safe levels of vitamin supplementation and managing the illness in children.
Proceeds from the event were
donated to the ME Association
and also saw five new members
join the Lochaber ME group, taking their numbers to 43 people.
- 28 -
History, chaplaincy, sports and exercise: they
are all in the Highland Health Sciences Library
ONE of the strengths of the
Highland Health Sciences Library is its multidisciplinary nature. It holds a wide range of
materials on many subjects.
Just have a look at how the library can broaden your knowledge of topics covered in this
issue of Highlights.
As the independence debate
rages around us it is worth remembering that Scotland and
Highland Scotland played an
important role in the development of modern medicine.
At the Scottish level there are
works such as: A History of
Scottish medicine: Themes and
Influences (WZ 40 DIN). Local
practitioners were also responsible for developing medicine for
example from c1300 the Beaton
family on Skye (WZ 100 BAN)
and from the 1830s Dr John
Grigor in Nairn (WZ 100 RAE).
Local work into the history of
the health services continues
under the auspices of Jim and
Steve Leslie with their project
concerning the history of the
hospitals of the Highlands (AWX
2 7
( ht t p: / /
Contemporary medic Dr
Jonathan Hanson on Skye examines raising awareness of the
effects of concussion in sport.
Why not look at some of the
material the library holds on the
health benefits of exercise
(Walking for Fun and Fitness
(WB 541 HAW) and Sport and
Physical Activity for Mental
Health (WM 450.5 CAL), and
sports medicine (Oxford Handbook of Sport and Exercise
Medicine (WB 292 MAC) and
Emergencies in Sports Medicine
(WB 292 RED).
The appointment of Raymond
Deans as a chaplain to the NHS
Highland team of chaplains in
Argyll and Bute allows the library
to highlight its chaplaincy and
spirituality collection. It holds
works such as: The Hospital
Chaplain’s Handbook: a Guide
for Good Practice (WX 187
For the rest of the health care
team there are a wide range of
similar resources such as: Spiritual Care in Everyday Nursing
Practice: A New Approach (WY
87 CLA) and Palliative Care,
Ageing, and Spirituality: a Guide
for Older People, Carers and
Families (WB 310 MAC).
Whatever your needs the
Highland Health Sciences Library is there to help. Don’t
spend more than 10 minutes on
a problem you may be having –
contact the library. To find out
more about the library call 01463
-255600 (x7600).
Rob Polson
([email protected]),
Subject Librarian
Pupils graduate from scholarship programme
A TALENTED group of senior secondary pupils
It was designed and led by the University of Stirfrom remote and rural areas of the Highlands ling’s School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health, in partgraduated from an innovative University of Stirling nership with NHS Highland and Western Isles,
Pre-Nursing Scholarship Programme earlier this Highland Council and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
Education Centre.
The 16 young people celebrated their success at
The two-year pilot project, funded by Scottish
a graduation ceremony in Inverness where they Government and NHS Education for Scotland, was
were presented with graduation certificates by NHS established to provide an inspiring experience for
Highland board nurse director Heidi May.
would-be nurses, allowing them to develop core
She said:. “The University of Stirling help us here skills through the achievement of the SQA Skills for
at NHS Highland to develop some of the best Work Health Sector Intermediate 2 Course.
nurses in the UK. Nursing is such a privileged job to
The project aims to promote nursing as a first
do and I wish all the students the very best for the choice career and enhance school pupils’ employfuture.”
ability, communication and networking skills, whilst
The programme was delivered at Stirling’s High- addressing issues of isolation within remote and
land Campus in Inverness.
rural areas.
- 29 -
Guide for engaging young
volunteers published by
Scottish Health Council
NHS STAFF now have access to a new guide that offers advice on how to involve young people as volunteers in health services.
‘A Starting Point for Engaging
Young Volunteers’, published by
the Scottish Health Council on
behalf of the National Group for
Volunteering in NHSScotland,
provides examples of how to best
engage young people in volunteering roles.
Supporting NHS boards to develop appropriate opportunities
for young people will help to ensure that the volunteers gain from
a productive and safe volunteering experience, while patients
and staff around them benefit too.
The guide contains advice that
takes account of the positive contribution young people can bring
to the NHS and the types of roles
that they would be most suited to.
It was produced in response to
challenges highlighted by NHS
boards in finding suitable placements for young people, particularly those in transition from
school to higher education where
their time may be limited.
With input from volunteers,
NHS staff and the voluntary sector, the guide contains examples
of good practice which demonstrate the impact that volunteering has on the volunteers and the
people they engage with.
The guide features case stud-
ies from around Scotland including:
 a young volunteer who assists
at the Medicinema at the Royal
Hospital for Sick Children,
 a project in Midlothian where
young people between the ages
of 14 and 20 befriend residents in
sheltered housing complexes
 a young volunteer who supported a breastfeeding support
programme in Lanarkshire.
Sandy Watson, chair of the
National Group for Volunteering
in NHSScotland, said:
“Volunteers are not staff and
should never be considered as
such. However, they can play a
hugely important role in supporting the NHS in a variety of ways
and enabling frontline staff to get
on with doing their jobs.
“This guide is designed to provide NHS Boards with suggestions and prompts to help them
develop appropriate volunteer
roles for young people.
- 30 -
“We recognise that in some
cases young people will not be
able to commit to long-term volunteer roles so we hope to encourage the development of roles
that meet the needs of everyone
involved – healthcare providers,
patients and young people.
Louise Macdonald, chief executive of Young Scot, said: “At
Young Scot we know the difference young volunteers can make
to communities across Scotland.
This guide recognises the contribution young people offer through
their energy, enthusiasm and
commitment. Having the opportunity to volunteer with the NHS
offers the young people who take
part invaluable skills for life and
work, as well as benefitting those
they help through projects and
 ‘A Starting Point for Engaging Young Volunteers’ is
Consultant retires
THIS month NHS Highland bid a fond farewell to
Consultant Oncologist Dr David Whillis who has retired after 23 years at Raigmore Hospital.
Scores of people attended his retiral presentation, showing the high regard in which he is held.
Dr Whillis, who is a keen climber outside of work,
came to Highland as he wanted to work in a small
unit that allowed close working relationships as well
as the challenge of a rural location.
Since his start at Raigmore he has seen, developed and contributed to many changes including
more Consultants in the service, the development
and opening of the Macmillan suite and Maggies
Centre, development of the out-reach service and
the arrival of the hospital’s Linacc machines.
A clearly emotional Dr Whillis, whose retiral
came the day before his 60th birthday, thanked everyone and said he had enjoyed every minute of
working at Raigmore.
He said: “Oncology is definitely the best place to
work at Raigmore! We’re a close-knit family in the
department and I am really proud to have been part
of that.”
East Ross to introduce single access point
THE way people gain access to
health and social care services in
East Ross is about to change.
From 7th April this year, the
Single Point of Access for Adult
Services will provide a standardised first point of contact for professionals and the general public
– ensuring effective co-ordination
of care to the most appropriate
East Ross Integrated Care
(ERIC) provides adult health and
social care services in the East
Ross area. The Single Point of
Access helps professionals arrange the right care for urgent
and non-urgent referrals.
Angela Bruce, NHS Highland
health and social care coordinator from Invergordon
County Community Hospital,
said: “We aim to work together to
deliver a wide range of coordinated health and social care
services to those in our community who require support and care
during times of illness and need
with links to specialist community
services – including statutory and
voluntary sectors when required.
“The health and social care co
-ordinator will be the main point
of contact for initial referrals and
they will be able to signpost or
liaise with the community care
team to co-ordinate an appropriate and timely response to care
need requests.
“People who are deemed to
have an urgent referral will be
offered admission to respite or a
residential or nursing home, or
perhaps even into a community
or acute hospital.
“Those who have a non-urgent
case will have unprecedented
access to our integrated multidisciplinary teams, which includes
having their case managed by
our community nurses and social
In addition, the Single Point of
Access can co-ordinate care to
provide a wide range of services,
including skilled multidisciplinary
team assessment and intervention, provision of equipment to
help avoid acute hospital admissions, assessment for domiciliary
(at home) therapy and liaising
with GPs to manage effective
clinical/social care at home. Any
person in the East Ross area
- 31 -
aged 18 or over can be referred
by a host of health professionals.
Angela continued: “The Single
Point of Access proactively supports service users to remain in
the community as the preferred
action to have the support they
need, remain in control of their
lives and live as safely and independently as possible.
“This is achievable by using a
comprehensive model of community care that is client centred and
ensures the views and needs of
the service user, carers and family are always at the forefront of
all decision making.”
In order to ensure effective
referrals, the following information will be required:
 The clients details including name, address, phone number, date of birth and CHI/Care
first number (if known)
Reason for referral and
service users health condition
 Information on whether the
service user needs urgent care
for appropriate timely responses
 Details of the person making the referral
CHALLENGE: How you can change the exercise habits of a lifetime
Fifty days
to improve
WITH not long to go before the
start of this year’s 5x50, which
starts on Sunday 30th March,
people are being encouraged to
take up the challenge and get fit
in fifty.
The challenge, which is in its
third year, was launched in 2012
as a charity challenge encouraging people to run, walk, jog or
cycle 5K (or 30-minute exercise
equivalent) every day for 50 days
with the aim of changing exercise
habits for a lifetime.
With over 5000 participants
from 43 countries taking part in
the first year, and an excess of
£160,000 raised for various charities since the challenge began, it
is hoped that this year will be
even bigger.
Ray Wallace, co-founder and
member of the core team behind
5x50, hopes as many people take
the opportunity to sign up and
take part.
He said: “We have about 2000
people signed up for this year’s
challenge so far but I do expect
that figure to increase as we get
closer to the start date. There is
also a lot of talk going on just
now about Sport Relief and the
Fit in 14 Campaign so looking
into a more active lifestyle will be
on everyone’s mind!
5X50 cofounder,
and Elaine
Mead on
the run
“We all make resolutions at
New Year like lose weight, get
healthy, improve your personal
best, and organise your life so
why not try this? Commit to exercise every day for 50 consecutive
days and change your habits of a
“There are numerous benefits
both physically and mentally that
being fit can give you. Even if you
don’t think you’ll manage the 5k
all at once you can split it up during your day, it can be done. The
hard part is going to be keeping it
up for the duration of the 50
NHS Highland chief executive
Elaine Mead has already signed
up for the challenge and is encouraging others to do the same.
She said: “I’ve done the 5x50
before and I was happy to sign
up again. It really helps me with
that extra incentive to get more
- 32 -
active; or for those who are already active it’s an extra challenge for you to complete. Fitting
it in can be a challenge, and I’m
trying to find opportunities during
the working day as well as at
There is a minimum registration fee of £5 to sign up, 75% of
which goes to Sports Relief.
Challengers are supported via
this website and our social media
channels to complete their daily
activities either individually or in
The online community will allow users to register for events,
link with other challengers, receive training advice, be encouraged and supported by our network of Fivers and importantly,
motivate one another to keep going over the 50 days.
Audrey Godfrey, a Lochaberbased social worker, answers
the questions this month.
We asked Audrey to give us a
picture of herself, and she provided this one. She acknowledged that it was “a bit cryptic”,
but added: “Fans of Terry
Pratchett will recognise it.”
As for the rest of you, check it
What’s your job?
To assess and identify difficulties; promote independence;
provide support as required for
individuals and their families/
carers; support people with
making choices and to work
within the relevant Acts governing the social work role.
Describe yourself.
I’m 5ft 7ins and quite chilled, but
not quite horizontal; I take life as
it comes, I don’t see the point in
becoming too het up, especially
over trivia.
Hobbies and interests?
Tackling the wilderness that
calls itself a garden in our new
house. Learning ‘new heights’
as I scramble up the cliff at the
back of the house trying to see
the wood for the trees. I love
playing games on the DS and
PS3 but have still not managed
to save Lara Croft. My ambition
is to beat my six-year-old granddaughter. There are other hobbies and interests, like photography, but I don’t have time with
the ongoing renovation of our
new home. Maybe this year!
What was the first single you
ever bought?
In the late 60s, at a very tender
age, I became a head banger. I
can’t remember exactly what
single I bought but it was probably something by The Who.
What is your favourite food?
Salmon fillet with a soft cheese,
lime juice and pine nut topping
served on a bed of mashed
sweet potato.
How about your favourite
‘There’s life Jim but not as we
know it’!
And TV programme?
Has to be CSI … any of them.
- 33 -
What about your favourite
No particular favourite but anything by Terry Pratchett.
If you won £10 million in the
lottery, what would you spend
it on?
Apart from family, friends and
good causes I would attempt to
complete my bucket list.
What about a smaller sum,
say £1,000?
Finish my kitchen and have a
If you could have dinner with
three people, dead or alive,
who they be and what would
you cook them?
Terry Pratchett to explain and
discuss some of his theories;
Captain James T Kirk for the
adventure; Elizabeth the First as
she was such an amazing
woman for the times plus so
many discoveries were made
during her lifetime ... where
would we be without potatoes! I
would get my partner to cook as
he is quite remarkable in the
kitchen and I would probably
have Indian cuisine as Elizabeth
might find this challenging, and I
enjoy a bit of spice!
INNOVATION: Portal can help to turn your idea into reality
From the drawing board
to the operating table...
DO you have an idea about a new technology or product that can help the NHS? Got
an idea up your sleeve that will improve
patient care?
The new Health Innovation Procurement
Portal (HIPP-Scotland) will provide information, guidance and support to help you turn
your idea into reality.
NHSScotland has designed this portal as a
single-point resource to develop stronger partnerships with industry. It provides potential
suppliers with information, guidance and support on how to develop ideas and innovations
into products and technologies that may be of
use to NHSScotland, or to further develop established products.
NHS National Services Scotland’s Jim
Miller, who helped develop the Innovation Portal, explained: “There are thousands of people
working in or supplying NHSScotland. Those
on the front line are often most likely to spot
an idea for a new product or technology which
can make it easier to do our jobs, help patients
or make savings.
“But what’s been lacking in the past is a
single point where NHS Scotland and Industry
can feedback and review new ideas and future
requirements – that’s where the Innovation
Portal comes in.”
After completing a simple registration process, each proposal will be assessed by experienced and qualified healthcare professionals
who will be able to provide constructive criticism and feedback on potential technologies
and innovations.
“They will assess the proposal and evaluate
its costs and benefits, including commercial
aspects, how it fits with wider strategies, evidence and market readiness.
Jim continued: “If your proposal looks
promising, the feedback from the portal will
hopefully provide a platform for further development and discussion.”
For more information, check out the HIPPScotland
What’s your story? Keep Highlights informed
Do you know of something you think
for it. Please send your articles for
should be featured in Highlights? An
Highlights to [email protected]
award, an achievement, a piece of
(01463 704903) or visit the Staff
research, an appointment, a retrial …
Dropbox on the NHS Highland intra-
you name it, Highlights has a place
nent home page.
- 34 -
Tapping a fund
of experience
“People like to pigeonhole
you. It’s easier.” But there’s
nothing easy about pigeonholing Graham Crerar.
He’s driven double-decker
buses in Edinburgh, travelled the
Far East hippy trail and runs a
croft in Ardnamurchan. He’s
sailed round most of the UK, enjoys visiting lighthouses and occasionally competes in big cycling events. Career-wise, he
rose from office boy to a position
in fund management which saw
him running portfolios of around
£20 billion, and he helps to run
the family hotel chain that bears
his name.
One of NHS Highland’s newest board members – his appointment took effect on 1st January –
Graham Crerar doesn’t necessarily defy definition; it’s just that his
CV needs a few pages more than
most people’s.
But let’s start with an aspect of
his past life that’s relevant to his
board role. Once, when he was
living in a village in Suffolk, he
served as a first responder.
“I did it for two years, during
which time I was called out on
only half a dozen occasions,” he
recalled. “One of these times was
thought he was having a heart
attack. He’d had a hot bath and
felt feint when he stood up, so
called 999. I was first to the
scene and did all the checks I
was supposed to do. Ten minutes
later I was followed 10 by the
whole blue-light brigade and that
was my work done.”
His experience as a first responder gave him an insight into
the difficulties in meeting basic
health needs in rural communities.
He said: “I was in my early 40s
at the time, I was reasonably fit
and had never had a serious illness or spent time in hospital. I
could meet my own – and my
family’s – needs, and I had a car,
and lived near a GP.
“However, I knew that not everyone was in that position – certainly, not everyone in the Highlands is that fortunate.”
Graham gained further insights into the world of healthcare
when, in response to an advert in
the Guardian, he successfully
applied for a post as nonexecutive director of Suffolk NHS
Primary Care Trust and later became its deputy chair.
“The whole experience was
extremely insightful,” he recalled.
“Actually, it was a real eyeopener. We are constantly being
bombarded by the press on the
inefficiencies of management in
the NHS, yet when I joined the
primary care trust two-thirds of
the managers were, or had been,
clinicians, and they people of the
- 35 -
highest quality.
“The default view of the public
sector is one of overpowering
bureaucracy and inefficiency and,
while there may be an element of
that, I found it a refreshing surprise to see the calibre of people
working in the NHS – and I’m
continuing to see that in Highland.”
Graham says he joined the
NHS Highland board, again in
response to a press advert, because he felt he had something
to offer.
“The NHS had played such a
significant part in my life that I
wanted to continue to contribute
to it in some way,” he said.
“I’ve worked in finance, commerce and the public sector, and
lived in a rural community, and I
could see that NHS Highland was
struggling to provide excellent
care in such communities. I felt
my background provided a useful
combination with relevance to the
role, so I applied.”
But, for all his past experience,
Graham contests that if he’s
learned one thing since joining
the board, it’s this: “It showed just
how much I have to learn.”
Graham’s work with the NHS
in England, where there is a
vastly different organisational
structure, may not quite have prepared him for the entirely different
Continued on next page
Continued from previous page
set-up that exists north of the border.
“In Scotland, the big advantage is that there are so few layers between the health visitor
who goes to see how Mrs Macdonald is faring at home and the
health minister,” he said. “I believe that makes it easier to get
things done.”
For Graham, ‘getting things
done’ in NHS Highland involves
serving on the control of infection
and clinical governance committees and the carbon and sustainability programme board, as well
as on the Badenoch, Strathspey
and Nairn District Partnership.
“I’m still finding my feet,” he
said, when asked for his views on
the Highland Quality Approach,
and so I don’t think I’m in a position to give you an informed view.
“However, I’ve been interested
to see the extent to which I encounter the Highland Quality Approach – it’s evident in the language and behaviour of the entire
team. It’s also clear to me that it’s
something solid to hold on to.
The financial environment is
hard, and if people do not have
something solid as the basis for
decision making, it would be very
easy to be blown around. I suppose the Highland Quality Approach can provide that anchor.”
The financial environment –
it’s something knows even better
than the health service.
Born in Oban, he went to
school there before moving to
George Watson’s College in Edinburgh. From there he went to
the University of Aberdeen, initially to study Geography but latter switching to do an honours
degree in Economics.
Graham met his wife Pauline
in university and, after he worked
for a spell as a bus driver, they
travelled to Asia, and in the
course of eight months took in Sri
Lanka, India, Nepal, Thailand and
Indonesia. On his return, in August 1984, he fired off job applications to “lots” of companies,
and eventually got an interview
with investment managers Ivory
& Syme in Edinburgh.
“They told me that they didn’t
have a job for me but would keep
my CV and consider it the following year,” said Graham. “To be
honest, I would have done any-
In Scotland, the big
advantage is that
there are so few
layers between the
health visitor who
goes to see how
Mrs Macdonald is
faring at home and
the health minister
thing, even licking stamps in the
post room. A week later, I got a
job doing more or less just that,
as an office boy – I literally filled
the chairman’s fountain pen.”
After six months, Graham got
on the firm’s graduate programme and a job as trainee fund
manager. Eight years later, with
considerable experience in both
investment and pension funds, he
and two colleagues set up their
own fund management business.
Graham subsequently held a
number of key posts, including
head of UK equities for a major
fund management business, but
- 36 -
also retained an interest in the
family hotel business (Crerar Hotels currently has 12 hotels
thoughout the country, and Graham remains involved).
With his parents living in Oban
and his father in declining health,
Graham decided to leave the
fund management world and return north.
“My youngest daughter (he
has four children) was getting
ready to go to university and it
was clear to me that there was no
longer any compelling reason for
me to stay in England,” he said.
But his return to Argyll and
Bute wasn’t without its hiccups. In
September 2011, Graham moved
to the new house he and his wife
had built in Ardnamurchan. Five
months later, the house was destroyed by fire. Graham had it
rebuilt. “It’s exactly the same, but
doesn’t have the same flue system that caused the fire,” he said.
Apart from serving as commissioner on The Northern Lighthouse Board – “It’s a non-exec
role and I find it very enjoyable; I
get to visit wonderful lighthouses
in the most extraordinary places
– Graham keeps busy tending
the croft he took over when he
moved home.
“Just now, there’s a lot of fencing and draining to be done but I
hope to buy some sheep for the
croft in September,” he said. “I
live in a small crofting township
and I took over what was a vacant croft because I wanted to
get involved in all the decisions
affecting the community.”
Outside work, Graham’s a
keen sailor, and reckons he’s
probably sailed around the whole
of the UK “except the bit off Cape
Wrath”, and also enjoys cycling,
ski-ing and fishing.
Now try to pigeonhole him!

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