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Members of the Lochaber Steering Group were given a detailed insight into the ambitions for the clinical care model in the area last week.
The group viewed a number of presentations from NHS Highland clinicians from a range of specialties including radiology, anaesthetics and pharmacy which outlined how they would wish health and social care services to be delivered across Lochaber and in the context of the replacement Belford Hospital.
Louise Bussell, NHS Highland’s chief officer, said she was very grateful to all of the clinicians for giving their time to allow members of the steering group to gain a better understanding of the future clinical model in Lochaber.
‘They were all excellent and were well received by those in attendance who expressed their appreciation,’ she added.
‘We know there is much work still to do but it is encouraging to see how plans are coming together across services such as the renal unit, outpatients department, our support services and A&E.
‘The presentations provided a lot of detail as to how services will adapt and develop along with the wider redesign in the area to ensure we continue to deliver high-quality, patient-centred health and social care to the people of Lochaber.
‘The group offered us helpful insight into what else the community would like to hear about, and the services which were unable to make it to the meeting will present to the group in the future.’
Between NHS staff and community representatives, more than 50 attended the meeting. Project Team member Patricia Jordan, of Fort William, Inverlochy and Torlundy Community Council, told the Lochaber Times afterwards: ‘It was refreshing and a real delight to hear direct from the Belford staff and to feel their clear enthusiasm and sense of vision for the services to be provided in the new hospital.
‘We want to let all the Belford staff know that the community is solidly behind them in their aspirations for the new hospital.’
With the new governance structures in place the steering group will become the stakeholder group for the Lochaber Health and Social Care Redesign.
It will continue to be held on a monthly basis to ensure local feedback and discussions remain at the heart of key issues in the project.