I welcome the news that NHS Grampian have announced that applications for a new fast track Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) course, the first in Scotland, will open this week.
The bespoke course, which will be delivered by Robert Gordon University and the newly established Advanced Care Academy, will offer 20 places to nurses, with around half of the posts in the first intake being planned for Dr Gray’s.
This is a positive move by NHS Grampian in bolstering their multidisciplinary workforce across the region, but more importantly at Dr Gray’s hospital, Elgin, where staff shortages in various Departments has been a very real issue. To see that at least half of the first intake of 20 ANP’s will go to Dr Gray’s will make a huge difference.
However, we need to be clear that while Advanced Nurse Practitioners have a vital role to play, they are not a replacement for Doctors and we need to see greater recruitment and training of them as well.
If this drive provides more sustainability to local services I would hope that other health boards look at this initiative.
I heard how the GlenWyvis Distillery in Dingwall is just £70,000 short of its £750,000 open share offer when she visited the company last week.
I represent Labour in the Highlands and Islands, was told how the first 100% community owned distillery is forging ahead with its gin and whisky production after being established just two years ago.
I was encouraged to visit the venture because she is also a member of the Co-operative Party.
I was very impressed by GlenWyvis not only because of its community base but also due to its efforts to bring in green policies to protect the environment and use renewable energy,
It is so encouraging to see an ambitious community co-op taking off, especially in Dingwall where the last distillery closed in 1926. There are high hopes for more jobs to be created as the business develops and I wish them every success for the future.
I was shown around the distillery by its Marketing and Tourism Strategy Officer, Michael Fraser, and Distillery Manager, Duncan Tait.
Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, is frustrated to have it confirmed that there will be no facilities for women to serve their sentences in the new prison to be built in Inverness. Highland councillors recently approved planning permission in principle for the prison to be built on a site near Inverness Retail Park with building work understood to be due to start this year.
Rhoda Grant said “The Scottish Prison Service has confirmed to me that future custodial arrangements for women from the north will remain as they are at present. Under current plans women will continue to serve their sentences in Peterhead.
“This is unacceptable in the 21st century. Women offenders need to be accommodated closer to home to allow loved ones, particularly children, to visit easily. It is neither acceptable nor right that families in the north should have to travel these distances to visit.
“I appreciate the old Inverness Prison is over 100 years old but the SPS needs to move with the times and come into this century.
Mrs Grant continued “I have contacted the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson, previously about this, and I have also now asked the Chief Inspector for Prisons to intervene to ensure there are facilities in the north for women to serve their sentences.”
After carrying out a number of constituency visits to Argyll & Bute ,Highlands & Islands Regional MSP, Rhoda Grant, took the opportunity of meeting with staff from the charity, Shopper-Aide, which is located in Campbeltown.
“I believe that Shopper-Aide is a massive asset to the Kintyre area and started as a shopping service for the elderly but it has quickly expanded and now offers housekeeping services, delivery of prescriptions and the set up of clubs such as the Elderberries Club”
“I would encourage anyone over 60 to utilise this service as it really is, a wonderful organisation and I am delighted to support it in any way that I can.
“ They are currently applying for Big Lottery Funding, which if successful will allow the charity to continue to provide the valuable services that they do.
Motion lodged by Rhoda in the Scottish Parliament
Date Lodged: 30/07/2018
That the Parliament acknowledges the efforts of all volunteers and staff involved in the Campbeltown-based charity, Shopper-Aide; understands that the charity provides valuable community resources designed to support older people to live independently at home; notes that, among the services provided, it shops for the older persons weekly needs, supports them with their domestic household chores and, at the same time, addresses the problem of growing isolation that comes from weakening health; understands that the charity also provides social events for the older person in the area, allowing them to meet and socialise with others; commends the endeavour and enthusiasm of all involved in this charity, and wishes it continued success going forward.
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