UHI Shetland - Open the door to your future
Tuesday 18 June 2024
 8.1°C   NNW Gentle Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Health / Wellbeing the focus of possible collaboration between amenity trust and NHS

Photo: Shetland Amenity Trust

POSITIVE discussions have been held between local health officials and Shetland Amenity Trust around a possible collaboration on ways to improve people’s physical and mental wellbeing.

The talks stem from the trust’s recently published strategic plan, which includes a section on health and wellbeing.

Amenity trust chief executive Mat Roberts said working with “traditional suppliers of health and wellbeing services to ensure that they wrap what we do into their programmes, and we wrap what they do into our programmes” was part of the thinking behind the plan.

The talks were mentioned at a meeting last week of Shetland’s integration joint board (IJB), which brings together NHS Shetland and Shetland Islands Council on health and social care, during a discussion on mental health.

Referring to waiting times for mental health therapy, councillor Emma Macdonald questioned what extra help could be offered to people awaiting treatment.

“Is there anything more that we can do that can support people in the meantime?” she asked.

A temporary therapist is being recruited to help manage a backlog, according to a report presented to the IJB, while clinical psychology is “proving to be more difficult to recover, with a single-handed practitioner continuing to receive referrals” in addition to existing cases.

IJB chief officer Simon Bokor-Ingram, who is director of community health and social care for NHS Shetland, said there was a “real opportunity” to focus more on social prescribing, which takes a holistic approach to health and wellbeing.

“How can we support people…into social activities that get people back into interacting with other folk?” he said.

There was widespread media coverage in 2018 after NHS Shetland started prescribing ‘nature’ in conjunction with RSPB Scotland to promote the benefits of being outside.

Bokor-Ingram said one question is how people can be supported into taking part in activities.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

Roberts said there are amenity trust-related opportunities for bettering physical and mental health, like the countryside, access routes, footpaths, visiting the museum and taking part in community activities like Da Voar Redd Up.

“We have a health and wellbeing priority, which in essence is to recognise the health and wellbeing aspects of the services that we provide, and work with the traditional suppliers of health and wellbeing services to ensure that they wrap what we do into their programmes, and we wrap what they do into our programmes,” Roberts explained.

“It’s really just saying that we’re not just here to conserve objects in the museum and collect documents. It’s not an academic exercise. It’s an exercise that brings multiple benefits to individuals in the health and wellbeing space, and what can we do alongside them, because they’re doing all sorts of work around physical and mental health. What can we do together on things like that?”

He said that conversations with NHS Shetland and the IJB have been “really good”.

Roberts added that the trust already hosts dementia classes every week in the museum, while it has also been working with career pathway workers around “first steps into employment for people coming out of various different positions of disadvantage”.

Activities like these “gets [people] out of their homes, gets them talking to people, gets them an opportunity to share their story”, he said.

The amenity trust’s strategic plan notes that one in three people in Shetland experiences mental ill health or distress each year.

At last week’s IJB meeting board member Shona Manson also highlighted the work being done by NHS Shetland’s health improvement team on a new programme that mixes exercises, education and group activities.

The free programme consists of eight fortnightly sessions held over the space of four months, and they are being delivered at local health centres.

The aim is to help people make “lifelong, sustainable healthy changes” in areas beyond just their weight.

Bokor-Ingram also confirmed that two community psychiatric nurses were heading off for training in cognitive behavioural therapy.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.