Ini­tia­tive aims to help well­be­ing

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

PEO­PLE with long-term health con­di­tions in Ar­gyll and Bute are set to ben­e­fit from a new in­de­pen­dent ini­tia­tive thanks to fund­ing se­cured by Lomond and Ar­gyll Ad­vo­cacy Ser­vice.

For the past 16 years the ad­vo­cacy ser­vice has been sup­port­ing adults with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties, adults with a men­tal ill­ness and older peo­ple to ex­press their views, chal­lenge de­ci­sions and up­hold their rights.

The well- es­tab­lished vol­un­tary or­gan­i­sa­tion has now se­cured £280,000 from the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment via the Scot­tish Health and So­cial Care Al­liance to ex­tend its work to meet the needs of any­one aged 16 or over liv­ing in Ar­gyll and Bute with one or more long-term con­di­tions which are pro­gres­sive or de­gen­er­a­tive, or which im­pact on their abil­ity to lead an in­de­pen­dent life.

The new project is be­ing sup­ported through the Trans­form­ing Self-Man­age­ment in Scot­land Fund and will in­tro­duce a new di­men­sion to the de­vel­op­ment of self-man­age­ment skills.

Ad­vo­cacy man­ager Scott Rori­son said: ‘ We hope to shift the fo­cus away from the cur­rent norm or re­ac­tive in­ter­ven­tions at times of cri­sis to­wards a more pre­ven­tive ap­proach to healthcare, with in­de­pen­dent ad­vo­cacy be­ing of­fered as an es­sen­tial early in­ter­ven­tion, help­ing in­di­vid­u­als to plan their own care and be fully in­volved in the dis­cus­sions and de­ci­sions which shape their lives.

‘We know from ad­vo­cat­ing for peo­ple with long-term con­di­tions that we can make a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence to how they feel and to the sup­port they are able to ac­cess. Peo­ple tell us of the pos­i­tive im­pact in­de­pen­dent ad­vo­cacy can have in achiev­ing pos­i­tive out­comes, pro­mot­ing well­be­ing and em­pow­er­ing in­di­vid­u­als to lead more in­de­pen­dent lives.’

The project will ini­tially run un­til March 2019 and has led to the re­cruit­ment of five part-time ad­vo­cacy work­ers in Ar­gyll and Bute. Ailsa McCrae, the ad­vo­cacy team leader, will co-or­di­nate the project. She said: ‘We have been aware of a gap in ad­vo­cacy pro­vi­sion for peo­ple with long-term con­di­tions for some time and are al­ready re­ceiv­ing our first re­fer­rals. Any­one who would like to find out more about the project can con­tact us on 01546 606056 or visit our web­site at www.laas.org.uk.’

Ad­vo­cacy work­ers for Ar­gyll and Bute are An­nie Tim­mins (Oban and Lorn), Sarah McFadzean (Kin­tyre), Si­mon Richard­son (Cowal and Bute), Ar­lyn Bolton (He­lens­burgh and Lomond) and Ailsa McCrae, team leader, (Mid Ar­gyll).

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