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August 2002
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Highland Health Council Wants To Hear Your Views On Health Services

2 September 2002
Caithness Voices - Cancelling seminar In Thurso - Wick One Goes Ahead

Highland Health Council decides to cancel part of the event planned for Thursday 5th September at Thurso Town Hall.

The Health Council regretfully announces that due to a lack of response for the discussion and workshop element of the Thurso event we have decided to cancel this part of the day. Instead it is our intention to focus on providing an enhanced service to those who just want to pop in on the day.

We appreciate the time and effort people took to make themselves available. We could have run the event if 20 people had shown interest but with only 3 positive responses the workshop element just was not viable.

We are disappointed that people havenít taken the opportunity to get an impression of the full picture regarding the health services and discuss issues with local health service managers. We want to stress that everyoneís views are important and we will be welcoming those who make the effort to come and see us on the day.

The event to be held on Wick at the Assembly Rooms 9.45am -3.30pm is unaffected and goes ahead as planned. Also members and staff of Highland Health Council will still be on hand at Thurso Town Hall between 9.45am - 3.30pm to give some information and note your views.

Caithness Voices - An invitation to inform

Highland Health Council is today issuing an invitation to the people of Caithness to come along and take part in discussions about the issues for the health service in the area. If itís health related and itís important to you, your family or your community itís time to join in and make your voice heard.

The event, ĎCaithness Voicesí will be held at The Assembly Rooms in Wick on Wednesday 4th September and will be repeated at The Town Hall in Thurso on Thursday 5th September from 9:45am to 3:30pm.  It is free and open to everyone but if there is a huge demand for places we may have to limit numbers.  People are therefore being asked to complete an application form as soon as possible. If you choose to attend we are asking you to make a commitment to stay all day.

Managers and professional staff from the health service locally will be at each of the meetings to give a series of very short presentations about the health service, after which the main focus of the day will be hearing the publicís views on local priorities.

Highland Health Council is planning a series of these events throughout the region. They are to enable local people and NHS staff to express their views, concerns and opinions about their communityís health services.  They are designed to be as open and inclusive as possible with everyone working together to set the agenda.

ĎAs the independent voice of the public in the NHS it is Highland Health Councilís intention to give everyone the best opportunity to participate fully in the decision making process. We want to encourage people to explore ways in which they can be more involved in making choices on prioritising their health care needs. How they can better understand the information given and recognise the limitations of finite resources.í says Chairman Margaret Thomson.

The Health Council wants to try to give everyone an equal opportunity to have his or her voice heard. Only through sharing, debating and listening will we start to resolve the dilemma of balancing local resources against the needs and wishes of many different groups.

Margaret Thomson adds ĎHopefully this will be a refreshing experience for people who will take away a better vision of plans for the well-being of the area. We have no intention of raising unrealistic expectations but we are very excited about this chance to hear the views of the wider community and we are delighted with the support, encouragement and cooperation we have received from the health service.í

If you would like more information or an application form please contact Highland Health Council, Freephone 0800 834017 or Freepost SCO2643, Craig Dunain, Inverness, IV3 8BR.