Improving attitudes to health

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Opinion

Last year we were studying the Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) ‘Transforming Together’ 2018/19 document, which presented a vision of combining our will and skills to create a healthy future for the citizens of Argyll.

The promises in that did not translate into reality.

Now, a  beautifully constructed and presented Living Well document is available. It runs to 37 pages, and must have taken significant time and money to produce.

It relies heavily on community participation and the Third Sector Interface (TSI).

While it was being prepared the HSCP was in the process of getting rid of volunteer forums, TSI was shedding staff and Guided Self Help was being transferred to the NHS Mental Health Team, while essential services are still dependent on successful bids for money.

Planning must not be a substitute for provision. In Living Well we are told that hypertension is by far the most common long-term condition. This area lacks the yearly health checks which might lead to early detection and intervention.

The initiative and enthusiasm of hospital staff in improving mobility have already been commended, but the dearth of professional rehabilitation services in the community is nothing short of a disgrace.

Everyone else seems to recognise this – indeed at a recent housing conference the keynote speaker highlighted the need for intervention to halt the downward slide into dependency. In an English trust they have even  appointed a physiotherapist to identify reversible causes of frailty.

We have to fight complacency about our own health and in the attitudes of our health care providers.

To contact Mid Argyll Health and Care Forum, email the forum chairperson Barabel McKay at barabelmck@gmail.com