Dr Deborah Ritchie, one of the co-chairs of the Health and Wellbeing Association attended a re-provisioning meeting on 14 December. She reports back:
“There has been no further progress to date. However, from February to June the hub will be gathering data to inform the initial agreement that is required to present the business case to the Integrated Joint Board (IJB) and the Scottish Government for funding. Around May/June a model of care will be presented to us. They hope to present different options for us. They have now decided it will be a mixed model of care and not solely extra care housing.
“A project team will be formed after this stage and one representative from each community will be invited to participate. The IJB Change board for older people will be significantly involved. The community engagement process, as far as I understood, is running in parallel to the hub. It does not appear to be a co-production process.
“We were asked which community group we wanted to be the point of reference. We put forward the North Berwick Coastal Health & Wellbeing Association. We felt at this stage it was the appropriate group and as it has representation from key groups (including the GP practice) and is an official subgroup of the Area Partnership. We didn’t feel that setting up additional meetings would be useful at this stage. A hub representative is supposed to be coming to the February 4th meeting at 10.30 in the community centre.
“A matter of concern was the minor injuries service. The chair of the IJB stated that the decision will be based on a whole East Lothian perspective. That seems to be informed by the statement that Humbie and Prestonpans and Seton don’t have one and that it must be an equal service for all. These arguments seem to disregard the nature of the population in a seaside town with significant growth during the summer, the distance to the Royal Infirmary for North Berwick residents and the two-hourly bus service to the new community hospital. ‘Equity’ seems to mean we in North Berwick have to give up a service. There is a review of minor injuries at the moment but I am not aware that it has involved the community. We need to be aware of the arguments about this service and as it is a different process from reprovisioning we need to make sure the decision isn’t made without some notice to the community. The two-hourly bus service to the community hospital is a serious issue if you don’t have transport.”