Over 300 people attended the first annual conference of Health and Social Care North Lanarkshire (H&SCNL).
Joining representatives from H&SCNL at the event in the Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility were members of NHS Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire Council as well as representatives from a host of North Lanarkshire voluntary organisations and community groups.
All present heard first-hand accounts of how the integration of health and social care is making a difference to people’s lives.
Among the stories guests heard, was the support given to Kirsty Allan, 26, from Airdrie who volunteers for a Parkinson’s disease charity and runs a social media site that keeps people with disabilities up to date with local events.
Sir Peter Housden: Former Permanent Secretary in Scotland 2010-2015, addressed guests.
Janice Hewitt, chief accountable officer for H&SCNL, said: “The integration of health and social care is only 18 months old, but the collaboration between the professional staff has enabled us to make such a positive difference.
Welcome: Janice Hewitt, chief accountable officer for H&SCNL.
“Our conference gave us all the opportunity to celebrate this and see and hear the positive impact we have had in this short period of time.
“It also allowed us to give a collective commitment to local communities that we will continue to listen, respond and co-ordinate services for those who need our care and support.”
Councillor Paul Kelly, chair of the H&SCNL Integrated Joint Board said, “It was encouraging to hear about some of the major successes that we have already delivered together and how they have truly improved people’s lives.
Councillor Paul Kelly: Was impressed with the commitment to making lives better.
“Importantly though, it was a chance for everybody to share new ideas and great thinking about the future.
“I was impressed with the desire from everyone in the room and their commitment to making lives better in North Lanarkshire.”
A major part of the event was the launch of ‘Making Life easier’, an online service which provides people with a gateway to a whole range of supports.
Morag Dendy, who oversees self-directed support in North Lanarkshire said: “This expert app provides help and support on a wide variety of difficulties and concerns including things like mental health, financial concerns, difficulties with daily activities or addiction issues.
Make life easier: Morag Dendy (left) and Claire Farren launch Making Life Easier
“A self-assessment only takes around 10 minutes to complete and the responses you give will offer you possible solutions.”
Dr Avril Osborne, vice chair of H&SCNL and non-executive member of NHS Lanarkshire health board, said: “The day was one of celebrating the significant progress we’ve made in just 18 months.
“We heard and saw so many examples of how the lives of people are being enhanced through personal resilience and multi-professional work.
“There will be challenges ahead, but working in partnership across the piece is one key to creating a happy, healthy future for and with our local population.
“I believe we will go forward from today’s event with renewed energy and enthusiasm for the integration agenda.”
Visit the new Making Life Easier app at: www.makinglifeeasier.org.uk
Kirsty's story: Guests heard how H&SCNL was able to support Kirst Allan from Airdrie.
Sensational: The Lanarkshire based SoundSational Choir entertained guests at the event.
Walk this way: Anne Armstrong, NHS Lanarkshire divisional nurse director, and Morag Dendy with the North Lanarkshire walking football team, who received support from H&SCNL services.
Networking: Many used the day to improve links with other services.
Plenty of stalling: A host of services used the event to promote their work and the range of supports they provide.
Question time: Janice Hewitt, Paul Kelly and Calum Campbell took part in Q&A session with Sir Peter Housden.
Full House: Just some of the over 300 guests who attended on the day.