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Transport Seminar

Here’s notification of an important seminar about transport in and around Nairn, Nairnshire, Ardersier, Petty and Croy. Key speakers include Rhoda Grant MSP and Maggie Lawson, MBE, of the Badenoch & Strathspey Transport Company.

poster-for-community-transport-seminar

Getting around the area and social isolation are troublesome issues for a growing number of people, subject to much discussion and review, especially in present times of public spending cuts. There remain a wide range of service providers, from buses and dial-a-bus to Community Transport minibuses and the recent pilot weekly minibus scheme between Ardersier and Nairn. and of course, there’s many taxis operating in the area. There’s evidence that nevertheless these services are under-utilised.

Still, local people have told us that they are not able to get about – to appointments, to shop, to socialise – with sufficient ease to meet their needs. Nairn & Ardersier Patients Group conducted a survey of the local community (not just patients) and from a large response identified around 11% of the population without their own transport (or unable to use it) unable to afford to get to appointments, to meet friends at social events or simply to shop, attend concerts or events and so on.

The solution seems to be a project which tries to maximise the use of existing services (by helping people understand the best way to make use of them and assisting providers in communication their availability) and which also provides facilities which fit between these services. The best proven example across Scotland, and especially in Badenoch & Strathspey, is a community car scheme.

This Seminar seeks to attract direct support from local people interested in helping the unwell, the disabled, the vulnerable and elderly through the simple medium of offering a little time and a lift in their car from time to time. We are delighted to have obtained such a high calibre of speakers.

We are particularly keen to find someone (or more) interested in acting as the co-ordinator for the project, but also committee members, volunteer drivers, people to answer the phone and those handy with admin (and even spreadsheets!). If the event demonstrates sufficient interest we will draft and submit applications for grant funding to meet running costs and to employ a co-ordinator.

We very much hope you will find time to attend this seminar which starts at 10.30 am on Friday 23rd September at Nairn Community & Arts Centre.

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Meeting tomorrow night

We’re meeting at Nairn Community & Arts Centre tomorrow night from 7.00 pm.

We’re hearing lots about the need for good access to care at home and easier access to advice and support from our GP practice. Some of it’s really positive – like one patient’s story of fast and reassuring response by both nurse and doctor to sudden ill-health. Some of it’s a little worrying, like one patient’s complaint (currently submitted to the surgery) that they couldn’t get through to the surgery and even when they did they needed help from friends to get a GP to call back even on the same day.

Other stories of needlessly long stays in hospital and limited support after in-patient stays seem to be growing despite the efforts to improve access to home care NHS Highland were telling us about a year ago.

Also on the agenda. What do we do about the transport needs we discovered in our survey a couple of years ago? Are there volunteers out there interested in helping us get started?

All are welcome to this quarterly meeting…let us know what improvements you have seen and tell us what improvements you think could make a difference.

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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?