Ex North Bute pupil to lead island’s health and social care delivery

Jane Williams has been appointed as the Argyll and Bute health and social care partnership's locality manager for Bute.
Jane Williams has been appointed as the Argyll and Bute health and social care partnership's locality manager for Bute.

A former pupil at North Bute Primary School has been put in charge of delivering newly-integrated health and social care services on Bute.

And Jane Williams says she’s looking forward to the challenges of delivering services on her home turf.

Jane - perhaps better known locally as the daughter of the late John and Jean Linden, owners for many years of the town’s Galatea Bar - spoke to The Buteman this week about her work - and about the decision of Argyll and Bute’s new health and social care partnership, which starts work on April 1, to put the redesign of health services on the island at the top of its list of priorities.

Jane, who has been NHS Highland’s acting clinical manager for Bute since last June, told The Buteman that the new partnership would be looking at every aspect of health and adult care on the island, with the aim of providing better services to the people who live here.

“We’re looking at what we can do to make our services better meet the community’s needs in the future,” Jane said.

“What do people want to have locally that’s going to meet all their health needs? The new Argyll and Bute health and social care partnership gives us lots of opportunities to think about working in a better way.”

Two new groups have been formed to concentrate on that redesign of local health and adult care services - a ‘locality planning group’ is one, while the other is a ‘redesign steering group’, set up to put together a business case for improving services on the island.

One of the things the latter group will be looking at is the possibility of combining all health and social care functions on Bute in a single new facility - putting the possible construction of a new hospital on the island back on the agenda for the first time in more than ten years.

David Ross, who is leading the Bute redesign project, said: “While our current buildings do meet all our requirements, this is being driven by services, not buildings.

“We spent £1 million upgrading the buildings we have, but they don’t allow us to develop services in the way we would wish to.

“We’re right at the beginning of the process. There are no preconceived ideas - let’s discuss options and possibilities, and how we might achieve them.

“Once we have ideas we will take them to the public and consult on them, because we recognise that communities can be very good at identifying issues we might not have considered.

“There is no timescale as yet for the delivery of the project - the first thing we have to do is make sure what we propose is in line with the Scottish Government’s strategy on health.”