Initiative aims to help wellbeing
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).