Health and Social Care
Communications Focus on Dumfries and Galloway
“I welcome change, as long as nothing is altered or different.” Down here at Dumfries and Galloway, the feeling of change is ever present. Work has began to change the way we deliver health and social care services as we know them.
I think it is fair to say that change can trigger a whole lot of questions in all of us. Can I cope? Can I see myself in the future? This is bigger than I thought? At long last, something is going to change.The Integration of Health and Social Care in Dumfries and Galloway offers us an exciting opportunity to work with a wide range of organisations from the public, private and third sectors. Within Dumfries and Galloway there are four, naturally formed localities in Annandale & Eskdale, Nithsdale, Stewartry and Wigtownshire. Our new Locality Managers for each of these four areas have an interesting path ahead.
There has been some great work done already to help our staff and the public understand what this new way of working will bring in the future, and try to smooth the transition journey.
Our staff briefings have been produced monthly to keep staff up to date with progress, focussing on a certain theme in each edition. Our most recent briefings have included updates from our partners in the third sector, Housing and the Independent sector. Localities are taking this on in their stride and are also producing much more localised newsletters where people working and living in their smaller communities can be kept abreast of exciting new developments in their area. These newsletters often pick up some of the themes which are explored in the regional Staff News Briefing.
At the moment, we are in the process of writing and consulting on our Strategic Plan for Health and Social Care Integration and our four Locality Plans. Our first round of consultation on the Strategic Plan involved us speaking to staff, communities, service users, and carers about what matters to them. The responses have been collated and have been used to influence the second draft of the Plan.
Feedback from the consultation on the Strategic Plan highlighted that people are far more interested to hear what will be in the Locality Plans and how integration may affect themselves and their loved ones. Localities are keen to ensure that what people have told us so far is taken on board when planning for the future and people feel listened to. Some teams have already built up a strong relationship with their local people and can access a number of groups and individuals with a vested interest in how we deliver health and social care. We are hoping the next round of consultations will take a creative, innovative approach and be able to have some real, honest discussions with those at the heart of our services.
We have also been working hard to make sure that all information about integration is easily recognisable and is not solely a message from the council or one from the NHS but rather a joint message from all partners. We have developed a Health and Social Care Integration logo that can be easily recognised and used by all of our partners. The hands that make up the tree represent the many different people and organisations that will be working together on the Integration of Health and Social Care in Dumfries and Galloway.As well as implementing the Integration of Health and Social Care services, Dumfries and Galloway is building a new General Hospital for the region and undergoing an associated clinical change programme. These are three major changes for Dumfries and Galloway and is very exciting and challenging for the region. Together we have been developing a website to further engage stakeholders and the general public in all of the major changes taking place in our partnership.
The website, called DG Change, aims to be a “one stop shop” for the three change programmes, bringing together all the latest news and information on the New Hospital, the Clinical Change Programme and Health and Social Care Integration.
Visit the DG Change website: www.dg-change.org.uk
We have been able to achieve quite a lot here in Dumfries and Galloway however, we are well aware there will be some challenging times ahead. By focussing on localities, with the people who work and live in those communities at the heart of the new locality plans, we will be able to change the way in which we deliver high quality health and social care services and support people to lead healthy and happy lives here in Dumfries and Galloway.
Catherine Withington, Integration Programme Support Manager, NHS Dumfries and Galloway