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Val's Blog



Val's blog - September 2019

The summer months have been hugely productive in South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership.

Two information events gave local people a chance to come along and find out about the proposals for a state-of-the-art, new-build facility at the site of the former St Joseph’s school in Blantyre, now subject to the normal planning process.  Our primary objective was to provide comprehensive information – and listen to people’s views – on both the proposals and the direction of travel, which was outlined in an FAQ distributed ahead of the events.

The event published on our website, shows how engagement was widely welcomed by the local community and a short film captured the views of stakeholders and staff - underlining broad support.

We intend to continue our wider engagement on this important issue across South Lanarkshire and we pledge to listen and take on board all viewpoints. More details will be published on this blog and various platforms in the near future.

Meanwhile, the exemplary ongoing work in our communities has been in the national spotlight, yet again.

Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director of the Scottish Government, visited South Lanarkshire Autism Resources Coordination Hub (ARCH) on 19 August.  Since its inception, ARCH has been focussed on facilitating the development of autism support in South Lanarkshire communities - much of which is delivered by communities themselves - alongside partners in the statutory, private and third sectors. Mr Leitch praised the work of the Hub in this short clip.

The Care Home Continence Improvement project continues to make an impact and the team who’ve pioneered the work recently hosted two ministerial visits by Clare Haughey MSP, Mental Health Minister and Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Childcare and Early Years, respectively.

In other news, several Lanarkshire practices will be among the first in Scotland to use Attend Anywhere as part of an improvement study, a fact that caught the attention of national media. You can read more about the technology how it works and the plans going forward on the news pages of our website.

Congratulations to the Integrated Community Support Team/Acute Care Team (ICST/ACT). The team of health and social care professionals allow people experiencing acute infections or sudden deterioration in their health to be supported to remain at home. Their caring approach and professionalism have made the final shortlist for this year’s prestigious COSLA awards.

Overall, it is evident that staff throughout the partnership continue to live out our vision:

Working together to improve health and wellbeing in the community – with the community.

And that, of course, extends to end-of-life care and support too. Our partners in Kilbryde Hospice recently celebrated their in-patient unit’s first birthday – having attained a 'good’ rating all round from Healthcare Improvement Scotland inspectors.  You can read the full report on the HIS website. In particular, inspectors recognised the excellent community links that had been established.
This is the Hospice’s first year in delivering specialist in-patient palliative care and the findings of the report reinforce the work that has been done by the excellent team at the Hospice - and staff within the Health and Social Care Partnership.  In summary, these are snapshots of how our partnership has shone during the summer.
And as we enter the ever-busy autumn and winter months, these achievements offer a timely reminder of the rewards to be reaped, and the sterling progress made, by our commitment to working collaboratively.

Thank you for reading.
Val de Souza
Director of Health and Social Care
South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnershi

News Update

Vals Open Door Session

Val's next open door session will be at 9.30am-11am at Kirklands Headquarters on Tuesday 16 October 2019.
You can reserve a slot to talk to the Director of Health and Social Care by calling 01698 453700.

Childrens Inspection

A formal notification has been received of a Joint Inspection of Services for Children and Young People in Need of Care and Protection in the South Lanarkshire Community Planning Partnership Area. The inspection process has started and will include 10 days on site in the partnership area in the weeks beginning 28 October and 2 December 2019.

Initial briefings have been undertaken across localities on the children’s services structure and inspection model to ensure all relevant staff and partner groups have been briefed and fully supported ahead and during the inspection. A core team of senior staff are currently working to ensure all necessary preparations are made. More information will follow in due course.  

If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact the partnership inspection lead, Arun Singh on: 

Power of Attorney

Families across Lanarkshire are being urged to arrange power of attorney (POA) over loved ones in a bid to protect their wishes in the event of serious illness or accident.  POA is a legal document allowing a nominated person of authority to act or make decisions on a family member's behalf.  This happens when a person loses the capacity to make their own decisions following an incident, which leaves them unable to look after their financial or personal affairs. South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership is keen for more people to sign up. Anyone interested in finding out more about POA should consult their lawyer or visit

Annual Report

The Integration Joint Board (IJB) of South Lanarkshire was recently pleased to publish its Annual Performance Report for 2018/19. The report details our achievements for the year and the way forward across the forthcoming years. Some highlights include: 

  • A reduction in the number of bed days associated with emergency admissions to hospital or unscheduled care;
  • Minimising the impact to people who have been in hospital and are ready to return home. Our delay discharge bed days have fallen by 10% over the period 2017/18 to 2018/19;
  • Increasing the number of people who spend the last six months of life at home from 84.2% in 2013/14 to 87% in 2018/19.

Looking forward and building on the above, the IJB and its partners undertook significant work throughout 2018/19 to develop a new Strategic Commissioning Plan.

The most recent IJB meeting was held on Tuesday 11 September 2019. You can view all the papers on our webpages.

Drivers Wanted

Larkhall and District Volunteers Group are now ready to begin their pilot Community Car scheme - but they urgently need volunteer drivers who are willing to support vulnerable members of their community access non-emergency NHS appointments. If you would like to volunteer in your community and have access to your own car, please get in touch on 01698 888893 or email

In the pipeline

(Expect to hear more in the coming months about the Partnership promoting “compassionate conversations” – just a small shift in thinking and style of listening when we are out and about – many of you may well be champions already!)

Our commitment to you

We’re committed to being open and transparent. You can contact Val de Souza by email. Details of the Partnership’s Senior Management Team can be found on our website. If you have comments, feedback or a story you’d like to see published in the next blog, please contact our Communication Manager.