John Edward, Head of Community Care at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, welcomed participants to the event and encouraged meaningful discussion and participation. Ella MacBain, Interim Service Manager, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, provided an overview of the first workshop and summarised the key themes from previous discussions.
Stephen Moore, Associate Chief Operating Officer (Community Services), NHS Western Isles, gave an update on the progress that has been made to date, namely the development of a Change Plan Team which is meeting regularly to progress the various work streams.
Martin Malcolm, Head of Public Health Intelligence and Information Services, NHS Western Isles, gave an interesting presentation on logic modelling and how improved outcomes for patients, service users and carers can be measured in a meaningful way.
Two workshops were held during the course of the afternoon; one was based on ‘How can we facilitate your engagement and participation?’ and the second around ‘Shifting the Balance of Care – what success looks like’.
Very positive feedback has been received from representatives of voluntary organisations who said they gained from meeting others, participating together in workshops and gaining awareness of what is going on in their own sector.
Chrissie Macleod from Crossroads Lewis, said: “There are many challenges in this process for statutory, voluntary and independent sectors, but a positive attitude seemed to emerge – an acceptance that change is inevitable but that we all have the opportunity to contribute to ensure the best outcomes for all communities in the Western Isles.”
Morag Munro, Harris Voluntary Service, commented: “There have been two very useful meetings with the voluntary and independent care providers, which has resulted in a great deal of grassroots information on care needs being gathered. The sector has also been invited to appoint representatives to the Change Team which will draw up detailed proposals. There is general recognition of the challenging times ahead with our ageing population and the continuing increase in the volume and the level of need. We are looking forward to the Change Plan providing a strategy for the future, which will ensure that the care available to our elderly can be sustained.”
John Maclean from the Western Isles Community Care Forum also commented: “The Change Fund events were useful for the purpose of raising awareness of the demands which lie ahead. From the voluntary care sector point of view, it was an opportunity to inform the other representatives of the range of services which can be provided. Confirmation that the sector is to be regarded as an equal partner in developing, planning and delivering change is to be welcomed, but it is clear that the overall challenge is enormous.
As a result of the workshops there was much enthusiasm and appetite for involvement and change and a decision made for representation from third sector and voluntary organisations to be members of the Local Change Plan Team.