Flexible approach needed for health and social care

A joined up healthcare service with a “no wrong door” approach to treating user’s concerns was discussed today (Thursday) at the last integration joint board (IJB) committee meeting of the current council.

The idea behind “no wrong door” is to have a strategic plan that relies on a working partnership between Shetland Islands Council, NHS Shetland, Shetland Charitable Trust, other regional and national organisations and charities to provide the correct health and social care help after the first initial contact.

Presenting the need for a new joint strategic commissioning plan following the pandemic, Elizabeth Robinson of NHS Shetland said the approach would rely on a better use of technology, such as the Ask My GP service and a flexibility of services.

Concerns were raised by councillor John Fraser that data protection laws, although to be respected, could “put up inadvertent barriers” to the sharing of client information across organisations.

SIC corporate services director Christine Ferguson said: “I think it fair to say it is a complex landscape, in people really being able to navigate that and make it work for them.

“So rather than seeing data sharing legislation as a barrier, actually it is something that facilitates sharing confidential information because it gives you a framework that enables you to do it.”

She went on to outline the work SIC and NHS Shetland are doing to better understand the complexities of the issue.

IJB chairwoman Emma Macdonald added: “As we have seen over the last two years the ability to be flexible and adaptable is a real strength and I think this plan will be able to do that.”

The recommendations contained in the report were approved.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.