A consultation is set to take place next week in the Western Isles to gather information about how services for older people could be enhanced to better meet the needs of service users.
The consultation, which starts in Barra on Monday (April 15) will be conducted by Figure 8 Consultancy Services Ltd, an independent organisation commissioned to undertake this work on behalf of the Western Isles Joint Commissioning Strategy Group (JCSG). The JCSG is a local group made up of representatives from NHS Western Isles, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Third Sector organisations in the Western Isles.
A series of open meetings have been arranged in Barra on Monday, April 15, at the Castlebay Hall (2pm), Northbay Hall (4pm) and Vatersay Hall (7pm). On Tuesday, April 16, meetings will take place at the SHARE Thrift Shop in Daliburgh at 10.30am, at An Calla in Benbecula at 1pm, and at Lochmaddy Hotel at 6.30pm.
On Thursday, April 18, a meeting will be held at 3pm in Breasclete Community Hall, Isle of Lewis, and on Friday, April 19, there will be a drop-in opportunity from 11am in Committee Room 2 in the Council Offices in Stornoway.
Two meetings will take place in Harris on Wednesday April 17, with a wide range of invited stakeholders, and individual meetings with other interested groups will take place throughout the week. On-line and paper questionnaires will also be used as part of the consultation process.
The project has been funded by the Western Isles Change Fund, which aims to optimise the independence and wellbeing of older people at home or in a homely setting, and enables health, social care, housing, Independent and Third Sector partners to implement local plans for making better use of their combined resources to improve outcomes for older people.
The aim of the consultation is to obtain views from members of the public which will inform the development of a Joint Commissioning Strategy for Older People's Services.
Through the consultation, views will be gathered on three specific areas, namely:
· How general services can be provided to meet the particular needs of older people;
· How services should be provided and delivered in response to particular health needs; and
· What role older people themselves can play in the shaping and delivery of services including self-management of health needs where appropriate.
Figure 8's Director, Andy Perkins said: "In the course of our independent and meaningful consultation we will meet older people, those who work with older people and wider stakeholders including carers across the Western Isles to elicit views on the needs of older people, the necessary services required to meet these needs, how services should be delivered and the role that older people themselves can take in the shaping and delivery of services."
One of the consultants, Elisabeth Hill, will be visiting the islands to conduct interviews and focus groups. After a preliminary visit to Stornoway at the end of March when she met with practitioners from the Comhairle, the Health Board and representatives of the voluntary sector, she will be returning on April 14 to progress the consultation.
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