Guest Post from Local Integration Lead, Anne Austin

Argyll and Bute is a beautiful part of the country but vast and as far as possible we divide the travel and meetings between us, with Susan Spicer covering MAKI (Mid-Argyll, Kintyre & Islay) and OLI (Oban, Lorne & the Isles) and me covering Bute & Cowal and Helensburgh & Lomond.

We are fortunate that we are familiar with the geography and how to cover the area as effectively as possible. We have established positive relationships with Independent providers, Third Sector and Health & Social Care Partners (HSCPs).

We continue to attend locality planning groups monthly and have a seat at strategic steering groups and planning meetings.

We have had a busy and productive time in Argyll and Bute over the past few months since we last blogged.

As well as the planned quarterly meetings of the Care Home Network and the Care at Home Forums we have hosted three Development Days for providers:

1. Monitoring and Improving the Quality of Care in Care Homes “Quality Outcomes: Improving Care Together” 24 April 2017

2. Care Home Development Day – “Partners in Progress: Moving from National to Local Experience” 16 May 2017

3. Care at Home Development Day – “My Neighbourhood Team” 19 June 2017

These events have been strongly supported by the local independent sector and the HSCP. 

In addition, Argyll and Bute have hosted two SSSC events:

  • Consultation on developing a generic induction programme – 09 November 2016
  • Step into Leadership – 28 February 2017

Both these events were well attended by independent providers and we received positive feedback from the presenters on the level of participation from attendees.

One of the major challenges for Argyll and Bute at present is recruitment and retention. In Oban this is particularly difficult for care at home providers.  There is low unemployment in the area and a lot of competition from the tourist industry for the available workforce. We have been working with partners from the ihub on a workforce planning model alongside developing a more generic health and social care worker job description. It is hoped that providers and HSCP staff will work together on a model of care that will attract and retain more people into the care at home sector.

Other opportunities have been presented through the national Scottish Patient Safety Programme (SPSP) project on Reducing Pressure Ulcers in Care Homes. This SPSP programme, with the support of Scottish Care and the Care Inspectorate, aims to reduce pressure ulcers in care homes by 50% and runs until December 2017.  Argyll and Bute (as part of Highland) is one of four Health and Social Care Partnerships taking part in the programme. The project aims to support staff to ensure residents receive the best care to prevent pressure ulcers developing, using reliable risk assessment and care planning. We expect to improve local collaboration between sectors and to encourage the use of quality improvement methodology, whilst developing a learning network to share the outcomes and other improvement activity taking place in care homes. This builds on our previous successful work in Care Homes, where every care home in Argyll and Bute signed up to use the quality improvement methodology to look at falls prevention and management.

This blog gives just a flavour of our day to day work in Argyll and Bute.

On a personal note, I love working in such a beautiful area.  Every day is different and presents new surprises and challenges. I have indeed been fortunate to meet a wide variety of colleagues and people who use services. So many people who are willing to do things differently and be flexible in delivering services that meet the sometimes challenging and unusual requests that help people to live more fulfilling and independent lives.

Anne Austin,

Argyll and Bute Local Integration Lead, Scottish Care (job-share with Susan Spicer)


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