Community Council discusses health provision

Saltoun Square, Fraserburgh.
Saltoun Square, Fraserburgh.

Members of Fraserburgh Community Council have attended a recent meeting on the upcoming merger of health and social care.

The community councillors reported on the contents of the meeting, which focussed on the changes relating to care of the elderly, people with disabilities and people with mental health problems.

Banff and Buchan Area Manager Margaret-Jane Cardno, who was present at the Community Council meeting, said the changes affected not just Fraserburgh but the whole of Scotland.

Ms Cardno said the Scottish Government has compelled local authorities to take a lead role in the process and for partners to work together.

The Area Manager said that while the focus on the merger is on adults’ health and social care provision, children’s provision would very likely be the next area to be reformed.

Ms Cardno said a Joint Board had to be established by April 1 to oversee the process and that, since Aberdeenshire Council and the NHS each have their own staff and buildings, a lot of work would be done on asset management going forward.

The ethos of the changes, the committee was told, was for patients to get tailor-made care to cater specifically to meet the individual’s needs.

Ms Cardno said this work will be carried out in the context of financial restraints facing the Council and an aging population. She added that the integration was about offering a wider suite of health services whilst cutting out duplication of provision.

Community councillor George Esslemont said that health and social care in Fraserburgh is “slowly getting worse”, adding that some patients were waiting six weeks for a GP appointment in the Broch.

Community councillor Mary Melville commented that the meeting on care provision appeared to emphasise personal responsibility and that, in future, there would be a greater onus on patients to keep themselves well.