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Caithness Health Forum

Health & Welfare

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Meetings Etc
The New Steering Group will notify the date of the next public meeting  in about two months i.e. early January 2002
18 November 2001
A new Caithness Health Forum looks likely to be set up following the meeting on Thursday 15 November 2001 in the Wick High School.
The meeting attended by about 50 people was addressed by three speakers and a variety of issues of concern to the people of Caithness were discussed and put forward for the new steering group which was formed at the meeting.

The speakers were -
Rev William Wallace who chaired the meeting
Councillor John Rosie
George Bruce (previous chairman of Caithness & Sutherland Trust)
Myrtle Gillies a presbytery clerk attended as minute taker.


Mr Wallace opened the meeting by referring to several areas of concern and the recent fears surrounding the maternity unit.  He said that Mr Carey, Chief Executive of the Primary Care Trust had indicated he was willing to have regular meetings with a new forum in Caithness.
There was some disquiet about the use of money which was to have been used in rural areas under Arbuthnott.  This was part of a 19.7 million funding package allocated by the Scottish Executive.  Mr Wallace said the his Presbytery had requested details on how the money had been spent but to date had not received a clear answer.

There was concern expressed by members of the audience in relation to Paediatrics in view of the retiral of Dr Burns who had provided these services until he finally retired recently.  Despite the fact that it had been known for many years that Dr burns would be leaving no replacement has as yet been found.  The position is to be covered by locums although it did not seem certain that this would in fact happen as it depended on being able to find locums.  Meanwhile other hospital staff are to be trained in various procedures to help alleviate the position.  Although nurses were happy to have their skill levels increased there remained doubts as to whether this would prevent the need for mothers to be sent to Raigmore in various circumstances.  It was for this type of situation beginning to unfold that the members of the audience were particularly worried.

There were plenty of issues for a new group to look at including the possibilities of a new renal unit in Caithness.

It was agreed to set up a steering committee to suggest a way forward, prepare a constitution and look at the funding of the proposed Caithness Health Forum.  The membership of such a forum was suggested to be about 15 (this was the number of the old Caithness Health Council).
A steering group of eight was quickly put together their being no shortage of people willing to sit on the initial group.

The steering group will report back to another public meeting when formal proposals will be put on the table