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.
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.
A really useful thing to know about is the service offered by our chemists. This is a thing known as the Minor Ailments Service. Our chemists can give advice, prescribe medicines on a whole range of illnesses and even if they are unable to deal with the problem themselves, they can refer you to a doctor. It’s a great service, particularly ‘cos you don’t have to wait ages to get an appointment with your GP…..and of course our local chemists are really friendly and helpful.
Alan and Graham, from Boots and Lloyds, came to our AGM and gave us the full run down on this service. Check out the official details at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2006/06/26102829/1 or better still, just pop in to the chemists and ask…
Our AGM will be held on Thursday, 19th May from 7 pm at the Nairn Community & Arts Centre.
Everyone welcome to attend. You’re very welcome to join the committee. Let us know in advance if you’re interested in joining up, or just come along on the night and put yourself forward.
NHS Highland and the local pharmacy managers will be in attendance.
A challenging meeting last month…we covered a quite a few difficult issues and heard examples from a number of patients.
We were asked a number of questions about Ambulance cover in Nairn, prompted partly by gossip and also by a recent episode when a callout took more than 20 minutes.
We heard of difficulties in getting through on the phone at the surgery at certain times of the day and about a lack of continuity of care when staff left the surgery. And we heard about a number of patients waiting unnecessarily to get home from hospital, waiting for care services to be available to them at home.
Our Chair has written to NHS Highland Area Manager Jean-Pierre Sieczkarek asking for information and comment. It would have been so much better to have had NHS representation at the meeting, better still, representation from our GP Practice, so we could have had a direct dialogue.
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.
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?
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.
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!