Val's blog

Val's Blog



Val's blog - June 2019

Exemplary work in the national spotlight as we shine a light on grassroots supports

Our partnership has, in recent days, been in the national spotlight once again.  Brilliant work across Lanarkshire, led by our Telehealth team, became the focus of a major roll-out of new technology that will allow people to monitor blood pressure at home.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman visited Hunter Health Centre in East Kilbride to scale up the programme - which reduces the need for GP consultations and can help to deliver more accurate readings - across Scotland.


Patients are shown how to measure their own blood pressure and text the results to a system called Florence or Flo.  Significant progress has already been made here using this technology and the visit heard from Julie Chambers, a busy mum of two who is one of many patients who have benefitted.

Julie explained, via the wonders of Attend Anywhere video conference, how the system has effortlessly fitted into her lifestyle, providing an intuitive, safe and hassle free way of managing her blood pressure.  Read more here.

The fantastic work not only gained prominent national and local publicity - it also personalised our vision: Working to improve health and wellbeing in the community - with the community.

And that vision is woven into all our endeavours.

At the moment, we are progressing with major plans to modernise care homes for adults and older people across South Lanarkshire. As we do this, I make a renewed commitment to being open and fully transparent, inviting anyone with questions to get in touch.

As well as keeping you fully updated about what we are doing and how we are doing it - I make it clear my unmitigated focus on why we are doing this.

In effect we are developing a model of care that will enhance our ability to meet changing care needs, particularly in light of significant population change over the last 20 years.  This is about improving people's lives - and offering real choice.  read my full article on modernising care facilities.

We continue to focus on our big priorities - early intervention and the prevention of ill health being among the top.  I'm pleased to announce that Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire (VASLan) continue to build and expand its Locator database which has charted scores of community-based supports using digital technology - as part of its vital work as key partners in South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership.  Meanwhile Scotland's Service Directory, which has collated many local quality-assured health and care services all in one website, has recently gone live in Lanarkshire.

We recognise that early intervention and prevention of ill health, in many cases, starts with the individual - and not statutory agencies reacting when health and wellbeing begins to deteriorate.

We are committed to providing people with information that can proactively support healthy living and, when needed, allow people to easily find the right service, at the right time.  These online services - dovetailed with other areas of exemplary work being carried out across South Lanarkshire - will only help make this, and our overall vision, a reality

Thanks for reading,

Val de Souza
Director of Health and Social Care
South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership

If you have a story of how partnership working is making a difference to lives we'd love to hear it.  Get in touch

News extra

Val's open door session

Val's next open door session will be on Wednesday 7 August from 2.30pm - 4.30pm in the Health Education Room in Strathaven Health Centre, The Ward, Strathaven, ML10 6AS.  You can reserve a slot to talk to the director of health and social care by calling 01698 453700.

Myth-busting animations help breastfeeding mums

New mums across Lanarkshire can now easily access additional information around breastfeeding, in the form of a suite of animated videos.  Launched during Scottish Breastfeeding Week, the collection of colourful and light-hearted animations will 'myth-bust' common misconceptions around breastfeeding.

NHS Lanarkshire run breastfeeding groups weekly throughout both North and South Lanarkshire.  They are an excellent opportunity to meet up with other breastfeeding mums and get advice from breastfeeding experts.  If a mum has any questions around infant feeding, or worries about feeding, they can call the infant feeding team on 01698 366710.

Carers Week

Carers Week (10-14 June) is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.  As part of this, Lanarkshire Carers Centre is laying on a spectrum of vibrant events during the week, ranging from healthy eating workshops to stress management.  Visit their website for more information.


Healthcare staff and volunteers from across NHS Lanarkshire were recognised for the inspirational work they do at the fourth annual staff awards ceremony which took place in Hamilton Town House on Wednesday 22 May.  Our sincere congratulations to all winners, finalists and nominees.  Read more here.

Meanwhile news just in - the vibrant work and community spirit that characterises our care homes has won over all the plaudits.  The creative residents of McClymont House, Lanark won the Lanimer's prize for their creative decorations remembering trips to the seaside well.  Well done all.

Congratulations .... again!

Congratulations again! - to the now multi award-winning continence project.  The project, which was part piloted at Daivd Walker Gardens, won the "Making research and evidence real" category at this years prestigious Scottish Social Services Awards on 5 June.  This year's awards attracted a record 157 applications nationwide, representing a diverse mix of social services that have made a positive difference to people's lives.  Find out how the continence project continues to wow judges in this short clip

Dementia online resource

As part of Dementia Awareness Week drop-in events were run at the Avonbridge Hotel, Hamilton and University Hospital Wishaw. The events highlighted an online resource which aims to offer more information about dementia, good health, peer support and community connections.  Developed by NHS Lanarkshire's mental health and learning disability service, the support tool is aimed at carers, patients and health practitioners.

IJB update

The following appointments have been made.  Appointment of Councillor John Bradley as chair of the IJB.  Appointment of Mr Phil Campbell (outgoing chair), non-executive NHS director, as depute chair of the IJB.  Reappointments and appointments of chair and depute chair are for a period of three years with effect from 1 April.  Chair of the IJB has been appointed to the post of depute chair of the Performance and Audit Sub Committee.  Depute chair of the IJB has been appointed to the post of Chair of the Performance and Audit Sub Committee.  Lillian Macer, non-executive by NHS Lanarkshire has also been reappointed as voting member of the IJB.