NHS Ayrshire & Arran and the three Integration Joint Boards of the health and social care partnerships in East, North and South Ayrshire have today (Friday 28 February 2020) launched their “Caring for Ayrshire” vision, outlining how health and care services could be delivered over the next ten years across Ayrshire and Arran.

Following a series of public engagement events and opportunities over the last twelve months, members of the public, staff, community groups and other stakeholders identified a number of priorities to help develop the proposed Caring for Ayrshire health and care model. These priorities include the need for easy, timely access to local, person-centred, high quality care, that is supported by a range of joined up services.

John Burns, Chief Executive of NHS Ayrshire & Arran explains: “Caring for Ayrshire is a transformative change programme that focusses on the best way to meet the health and care needs of our citizens through delivering a range of accessible, high quality, safe, effective and sustainable health and care services that are fit for the future.

“The proposed model takes into account the fact that 90 per cent of all health and care contacts in Ayrshire and Arran currently take place within a community setting. We will look to strengthen that local care and aim to deliver care as close to home (or homely setting) as possible, whilst also ensuring access to specialist care. We will work in partnership with our communities to support improved health and well-being and provide the people of Ayrshire with the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

“We want to hear your thoughts on the Caring for Ayrshire vision and ambitions at a series of further engagement events across Ayrshire over the next six weeks. These events will give members of the public, service users and staff the opportunity to comment and collaborate with the Caring for Ayrshire team, and to contribute to the planning, design and implementation of new, innovative models of care for Ayrshire and Arran. I urge you to get involved and let us know what you think.”

Over the coming weeks, we will be holding Caring for Ayrshire conversations in North Ayrshire. Look out for details of events in your area.

There will also be meetings with the fifteen established locality planning groups across Ayrshire and Arran; a group of people who play an active part in service planning for the local population, in order to improve outcomes.

The Caring for Ayrshire vision incorporates care delivered within: people’s own homes; homely environments (such as care homes); primary care centres; health and well-being hubs; and acute hospital settings. It aims to make full use of technological solutions that can better support self-care and continued care at home, where previously this may not have possible and will look to boost local resources through better linked-up, partnership working with third sector, voluntary and independent organisations. The vision is in line with the current development of staff within GP practices who are providing better local access to a wider multi-disciplinary teams, including pharmacists, physiotherapists, community link workers and mental health workers.

Where geography allows, stronger networks of support between groups of GP practices will be built to allow for care, such as clinics or investigations that would have traditionally been provided in hospital, to be provided closer to home. Creating roles where staff work both within a hospital and the community will also help to provide local care that is more joined up than before. Acute hospital care will deliver emergency and planned care that focusses on specialist, complex and high risk care. It will provide 24-hour consultant led medical services, ensuring that a wide range of services are available to the local population.

Stephen Brown, Director of North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership, comments: “Caring for Ayrshire sets out an exciting and ambitious vision that will help to transform health and care services and improve the health and wellbeing of communities across North Ayrshire. The programme is very much in line with our current health and social care priorities, looking to focus on prevention, tackling inequalities and bringing services together to allow everyone the opportunity to have a safe, healthy and active life. By encouraging everyone to think differently about how our health and care services are delivered, we can work in partnership to do better and identify the innovative solutions that will work best for the people of North Ayrshire.”