Celebrations, Challenges and Connections by Val de Souza

Celebrations, Challenges and Connections by Val de Souza

Celebrations, Challenges and Connections by Val de Souza

15th July 2019

The request to contribute to Health and Social Care Scotland’s blog is a timely one.

I recently posted the latest edition of my regular South Lanarkshire HSCP blog. It’s to that I turn to capture the essence of partnership working – and what drives me.

In my regular online updates, I endeavour to capture three key themes (or the three Cs): Celebrations, Challenges and Connections.

In the latest post (just like any other) I’m very proud to say celebrations abound.

I was able to write about, for example, how SLHSCP was in the national spotlight, when Health Secretary Jeane Freeman visited Hunter Health Centre in East Kilbride. Ms Freeman announced the scale up of a pioneering blood pressure monitoring programme. Our Telehealth team have already set down exemplary work in this field and our visitors heard from busy mum of two Julie Chambers and how using Flo texting has had a life-changing benefit.

I also focussed on the continued success of our much-lauded continence care project which won another award, this time at the Scottish Social Services Awards on 5 June. The project has seen small changes in continence care in care homes make major a difference, including a significant reduction of fall and infection, not to mention financial savings. Most crucially of all, this is an example of our staff finding innovative ways to ensure human dignity.

From news of NHS Lanarkshire’s fourth annual staff awards ceremony our local authority care home residents are also bringing in the silverware – earning best prize for their painting creativity at a local gala day. Care facilities can sometimes suffer from a perception of being insular and shut off.  This is one of many examples that personifies our Building and Celebrating Communities programme and proves community spirit is, in fact, alive and well.

There’s lots of positives – but be under no illusion there’s lots of jaggy bits. As we know, health and social care integration is about transferring the balance of care.  That’s all about instigating change – which can be a challenging process.

At a fundamental level, I have a passion for working with the strengths in communities, social justice and tackling inequalities. I also believe in being upfront, open and tackling challenges and questions head on.

I mention, for example, in my recent blog my crystal clear commitment to being completely open (and willing to answer any questions) as we modernise our care homes. 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. 

Finally, my regular blog is about connections. And it’s the connections that characterize our partnership, and I suppose, my ethos.

Our health and social care partnership, has seen the merging of different sectors, organisational cultures, different staff groups and different lexicons of acronyms! There can often be healthy disagreement debate – but we drive toward the same goal.

We’re connected in our commitment to improving people’s lives, and living out our vision: Working together to improve health and wellbeing in the community – with the community.

And that’s got to be something to celebrate – taking this blog post full circle ...

Val de Souza is Chief Officer South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership

Visit www.slhscp.org.uk for all news, background and updates relating to South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership

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