Caithness health & social care changes move ahead

Care hub model plans approved by Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday 7th May 2019

Changes to health and social care services across Caithness have moved a step closer as Cabinet Secretary for Health & Sport, Jeane Freeman approved NHS Highland’s plans.

In a letter to the interim chair of NHS Highland, Boyd Robertson, Ms Freeman says there is ‘positive support’ for a care hub model to be used as the framework for how services are delivered.

“I note that the model of care is supported by the majority of local stakeholders including clinical staff, planning partners, local people and their representatives. The board vision set out should provide modern, fit-for-purpose services for the benefit of local people in Caithness.”

From August to November 2018, 14,529 households were issued with a consultation survey which asked for residents’ preferences for either continuation of current arrangements; the establishment of care hubs in Dunbar, Thurso and Wick town & county; or care hubs in Dunbar, Thurso and Pulteney House, Wick.

Welcoming the news, NHS Highland’s area manager for the North, Michelle Johnstone, said:

I am delighted with the approval from the Scottish Government. It is a significant step forward and recognition of the huge amount of work that has taken place to get to this stage

The team locally have been working hard on the proposals in order that they can be progressed to the next stage. There is still a lot of work to do but I believe we can progress with confidence.”

An initial agreement will now be brought to NHS Highland’s board meeting in the summer as the first step in the business case process. An outline business case will then need to be submitted by the summer of 2020, followed by a full business case submission by summer 2021.

Project delivery and commissioning is then expected in 2022.