Fo­cus needs to be on health in 2019

Stirling Observer - - DEAN LOCKHART -

Dear Edi­tor

I tend to agree with the let­ter from Bob MacDougall (Ob­server, Jan­uary 4, 2019) that the Gov­ern­ment fo­cus should be on“bet­ter and sus­tain­able health­care through­out the 21st cen­tury”.

Gov­ern­ments north and south of the bor­der have sim­i­lar prob­lems fund­ing good health ser­vices.

The head of the NHS in Eng­land last week spoke on ra­dio about their 10-year plan and pri­or­i­ties.

Much more lo­cally, the Stir­ling/Clack­man­nan­shire Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship (HSCP) is hold­ing four pub­lic meet­ings in the next fort­night to seek opin­ions on the pri­or­i­ties they should fol­low in pro­vid­ing pri­mary and com­mu­nity health­care, men­tal health ser­vices, adult so­cial care and much more. A three-year plan is to be drawn up.

As with the na­tional sit­u­a­tions, health ser­vices are stretched and bud­gets over­spent. The lo­cal HSPC pre­dicts an over­spend of £3 mil­lion this year, less than two per cent of bud­get but not en­cour­ag­ing. Sav­ings will again be re­quired and could well come in re­duced so­cial care pro­vi­sion, less respite care of­fered for those with learn­ing dis­abil­ity and so on. Few will ob­ject if the ALFY phone ad­vice ser­vice ceases be­cause of min­i­mal use. Pa­tients, car­ers and fam­i­lies need clar­ity on what the re­al­is­tic op­tions for im­prove­ment and po­ten­tial changes to gen­er­ate sav­ings are and how that will af­fect them and their com­mu­nity.

Sup­port your com­mu­nity and the HSCP - go to your lo­cal meet­ing and ask these ques­tions.

Dr Philip Gaskell Wood­lands Lodge Buchanan Cas­tle Es­tate Dry­men

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