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GP appointments – improved?

It’s good to see the GP practice endeavouring to work on improvements in the appointment system.

It’ll be great if their hopes pay off. We support their efforts and would be pleased to lend any assistance / support.

It’s also good that the practice involved a couple of patients in the review that lead to these changes, even though they may not have been patient nominees – positive signs that more representative patient involvement and collaboration with the GP surgery could be on its way.

Let us know what you think, both about how patients could be more involved and specifically about the appointment system. How’s it been working for you?

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Pharmacists – a source of health advice

Our next public meeting is to be held on Tuesday 17th November at the British Legion, Cawdor Road, Nairn…ALL ARE WELCOME!
We’ve invited the managers of our three pharmacies to come along and explain more about the extra services they provide for the NHS. We’ll also get an update on our ideas for a local transport solution – we’ve been lobbying a bunch of people….will we be able to report progress on a possible partnership?

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Bus services for Ardersier

We’re with those who are calling for improvements following Stagecoaches’ cancellation at the end of May of a bus service between Ardersier and Nairn.
The evidence we found when we surveyed people around Nairnshire last year was that Ardersier and the other outlying areas are notably less well served by bus and dial-a-bus than the rest of us….not that any of us have lots to chose from.

We think that organising an alternative bus service using the community transport association mini-buses would make a difference, and from what we’ve understood, it’s feasible with volunteer drivers. But the survey also made it clear that bus services and dial-a-bus are not the whole answer. Lots of people prefer the bus, but they’ve also made it very clear that the services provided simply don’t offer the flexibility that they need. Even if a service is available, for 11% of our survey respondents they aren’t available for them to complete their return journey. Buses run at set times over fixed routes. There’s only one Dial-a-bus and its availability is restricted by things like the school run or staff break-times. The Community Transport Association mini-buses are designed for use by local community groups and are well-used, but while they may be suitable for a bus route they don’t provide the flexibility of a car or taxi.

What’s needed for Nairnshire and neighbouring Ardersier is a flexible range of services that INCLUDE buses and dial-a-bus, doesn’t undermine local taxi businesses, but also fills the gaps these services can’t fill. We think what’s needed is LOCAL co-ordination, to help people and service providers to maximise the use of existing services but also to manage a voluntary car service. This isn’t a new idea: there’s a highly successful scheme in Badenoch & Strathspey and others in Inverness and the Black Isle.

We’ve been on the hunt for a partner to work with us in setting this up. Drop us a line if you can think of one we could approach…

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Next Meeting in Ardersier

After the success of our AGM in May, our next public meeting is to be held at the Memorial Hall in Ardersier from 7pm on Thursday 27th August.
The theme of the meeting is Social Isolation and Health
We hear frequently about the isolation of patients, not just the elderly, in our small villages, even in town. Relatives and neighbours get worried about people who are housebound, maybe can’t face going out, have lost touch with old friends, maybe don’t even see a doctor or nurse from one month to another. We want your suggestions about what the NHS, our GPs, our care services – any of us – can do that might help reduce the misery of loneliness and isolation. Come along and give us your two penny worth at the meeting on the 27th.

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AGM Questions

We’re beginning to collect issues to put to Debbie Jones at the AGM. One of our number has praised the quality of care they received when coronary problems were unexpectedly discovered, but asks whether ancillary staff have had enough training – twice they have insisted on him attending appointments for screening not needed because he was already getting it from specialists.
Another asks why, when he requested a repeat prescription, he wasn’t told this had been refused until he went to collect it from the chemist three days later. On phoning the surgery he was told this was because he’d made the request “too soon”. When he asked when he could get it he was told “now”…!
Then there’s a question (not for the first time) about whether refreshments couldn’t be made available in the waiting room – a drinks machine or something like it….and one or two of you have described the benefits you’ve had from visiting the Salt Cave and are asking if local NHS representatives could look into the services it offers and whether, as they believe in England, these could be free on the NHS.
Keep those questions, issues and praise coming in!

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Joining in

Anyone who lives in the catchment area of Nairn Healthcare Group can take part in NAPG meetings like this one and can also put themselves forward to join the committee and our working groups.
We’re especially keen to encourage young people (and we don’t just mean those under 60, we also mean teens and twenties!) as well as those with organizational or commercial experience to join us.
There’s plenty of room on the committee. Some of the existing committee are standing down, others are putting themselves forward again.

What you can do:
The kind of work people can get involved in is quite varied – all of it involves building sound relationships with Health and Care service managers and staff in our area. These are the more obvious roles or activities
1. Chair
2. Deputy Chair: will deputise for chair, so might expect to chair around 30% of NAPG and committee meetings, including those with Jean-Pierre and his colleagues.
3. Secretary: take notes of meetings & prepare correspondence arising.
4. Treasurer
5. Updating website www.nairnpatientsgroup.org.uk facebook www.facebook.com/NairnPatientsGroup twitter https://twitter.com/nairnppg
6. Network communications: co-ordinating distribution of posters and notices around the area, surgery, library and other public noticeboards

How people can join in:
People can put themselves forward for membership of the committee at any time from now up until the AGM. Simply phone and let us know your interest, email or write.

The AGM will be held from 7.00pm on 12th May 2015 at Nairn Community and Arts Centre.

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NHS Highland boss to answer your questions at our AGM

Our last public meeting was a great improvement with the enthusiastic presence of senior local NHS manager Jean-Pierre Sieczkarek. Our upcoming AGM promises to be even better – NHS Highland Chief Operating Officer Deborah Jones will be participating in a question and answer session. Come along and get your concerns and delights aired…If you can’t come, let us have your questions now and we’ll collate them with everyone else’s and make sure they’re put to her.

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Public Meeting 4th February 2015, 7pm at Nairn Community Centre

N&APG Public Meeting

The N&APG are pleased to announce that we will be holding a public meeting in the Nairn Community Centre on the 4th Feb 15 at 19:00.

This meeting is an opportunity for members of the public to find out what the group has been up to since the dissolution of the PPG back in July.

The purpose of the meeting is

·      to up-date everyone on what we have been doing

·      to hear patients’ and service users’ views on how we should go forward

·      give patients an opportunity to meet Jean-Pierre Sieczkarek (NHS Highland South Area Manager) who will discuss how the NHS joins the dots between GPs, Hospitals and Adult Social care.

·      to encourage new members to join our committee

The group’s committee was elected at the public meeting in April and has remained together ever since, working hard to ensure patients views and concerns are represented to those who provide us with health and social care services in the area.

We have held a number of meetings with NHS Highland’s Head of Public Engagement and the Scottish Health Council’s representative in the Highlands. The result is that we will be able to represent patients’ views not only on health services including physiotherapy and dentistry but also on social care, such as care at home and residential care.

We have regularly met with Jean-Pierre Sieczkarek who is the NHS Highland South Area Manager. Jean-Pierre and his colleagues are very keen to encourage patient engagement in the shaping and provision of health and social care in our region.

We have joined Voluntary Health Scotland, the support and lobby organisation for the third sector in health and have participated in the Scottish Government’s “Stronger Voice” consultation on service user involvement.

We have also completed the analysis of the transport survey carried out with RCOP Highland and will be publishing our findings imminently. We very much hope this will help lead to improvements in the provision of transport for the many local people who currently feel disadvantaged.

So if you’re interested in how your NHS provides and supports the services you use please pop along to join in the discussions.

For further details contact info@nairnpatientsgroup.org.uk or call 07766 237312

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Next Public Meeting

We will be holding a meeting on Wednesday 4th February 2015

at Nairn Community & Arts Centre from 7 pm

  • to up-date everyone on what we have been doing
  • to hear patients’ and service users’ views on how we should go forward
  • to encourage new members to join our committee