Prescription Delivery Services – update

The collaborative working by Fife Voluntary Action, Community Pharmacies and the Partnership provided a valuable prescription delivery service during the height of the pandemic.

The demand for this service over recent months has reduced. We recognise that some of the most vulnerable and elderly in our communities may still need this service and the Fife Health & Social Care Partnership’s Community Support Team and Fife Council’s Contact Centre have organised a smaller service to help with deliveries for people who may still be in a position that they can’t get out of the house and have no-one to pick up prescriptions for them.

To access this service please call:
Fife Council Covid Community Helpline on 0800 952 0330. The phone line is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Please note – this service is only available for those who can’t get out to collect a prescription or who don’t have family, friends or neighbours who can collect on their behalf.

Partnership working in Fife to support suicide prevention

Fife is supporting National Suicide Prevention Week and working in Partnership with local organisation we are encouraging people to reach out for support in times of distress and crisis.

Fife Health and Social Care Partnership Health Promotion Service has partnered up with Fife clubs (Dunfermline Athletic FC, Raith Rovers FC, East Fife FC, Cowdenbeath FC, Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts, Kelty Hearts and Fife Flyers), well known Fife sports figures Caroline Weir and Jim Leishman and local support services (Andy’s Man Club, mental health charity Penumbra, SAMs Cafe, Samaritans and CARF) to encourage anyone who is struggling to ask for help and more importantly, know what support is available in Fife and how to access it.

Suicide Prevention is everybody’s business and in Fife we are supporting the national action plan ‘Every Life Matters’, which is working towards a vision where suicide is preventable in Scotland. Where help and support is available to anyone contemplating suicide and also for those who have sadly lost a loved one to suicide.

It is anticipated the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on individual mental health and wellbeing will be felt for some time to come and that adverse effects on people with mental illness, and on population mental health in general, are likely to be exacerbated by fear, self-isolation, and physical distancing.

At this time of overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic it is important that we all have those we can talk to openly and honestly, be that family, friends or professionals.

Nicky Connor, Director, Fife Health & Social Care Partnership said, “Suicide can affect us all and as a community we all have a part to play. It is so important to know that you are not alone and there is support out there. It is by working together at a national, local and individual level that will help to prevent suicide ensuring every life matters in Fife.”

#YoureNotOnYourOwn #EveryLifeMattersInFife

Raising awareness of suicide prevention and giving the public information is vital. Fife Health and Social Care Partnership is fully supporting the 2020 Suicide Prevention Awareness Week through the promotion of the “#YoureNotOnYourOwn” video across local social media and Kingdom FM. The Health Promotion Team has worked closely with Dunfermline Athletic Football Club to bring together Fife sporting figures Caroline Weir and Jim Leishman along with representatives from all major sporting clubs (Raith Rovers FC, East Fife FC, Cowdenbeath FC, Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts Kelty Hearts and Fife Flyers), and support services in Fife (Andy’s Man Club, CARF, mental health charity Penumbra, SAMs Cafe and Samaritans) to support this year’s campaign.

Eddie Martin, Mental Health Ambassador for Dunfermline Athletic FC said “Dunfermline Athletic is very proud to be involved as a partner in this project. Suicide is a community health problem that affects everyone. This association with Fife Health & Social Care Partnership came from the successful mental health awareness sessions that we’ve delivered at East End Park, not just for the fan base, but for the wider community as well. The message of the campaign is very important and this shows that help and great support groups are out there.

The video contains contributions from many support services available across Fife and they had this to say about their involvement in this year’s campaign:

“Citizens Advice & Rights Fife is delighted to support this suicide prevention campaign. We recognise that one concern or problem is usually linked to others and can become overwhelming, contributing to mental health wellbeing. Our team of specialist advisers can provide advice and support on a wide range of subjects including welfare benefits, debt and money, housing and employment and would urge anyone who is worried or unsure to contact us rather than issues or concerns escalating. We won’t tell you what to do but we will explain your options and possible outcomes so you are empowered to make the right choice for you”.

“Penumbra, is one of Scotland’s largest mental health charities and each week, we support 1800 adults and young people experiencing mental ill health. Here in Fife our self-harm team support people in a friendly and non-judgemental way. We provide a space for people to explore their self-harming behaviours and alternative coping strategies. We know that self-harm is too often misunderstood and so this week of suicide prevention awareness is an opportunity to bust some myths and let people know we’re here.”

“Samaritans vision is that fewer people die by suicide. We want to make sure there’s someone there for anyone who needs to talk about how they’re feeling, whatever they are facing, which is why our volunteers provide 24/7 support, 7 days a week.”

“Being part of the Fife suicide prevention campaign is in line totally with the values of Sam’s Cafe. The Sam’s team recognise there is a genuine, shared commitment within Fife to working together towards easily accessible support and a Kingdom-wide learning strategy for mental wellbeing. When it comes to awareness raising and supporting people with regards to suicide prevention, Sam’s simply and diligently endeavours to always be true to our project statement: ‘we believe in making a difference’. The team at Sam’s is passionate about suicide prevention and work tirelessly to be there for people. The team offers down to earth, understandable support that just makes sense in situations where people need access to meaningful support immediately.”

#YoureNotOnYourOwn can be accessed here: https://youtu.be/FTrLVOxDcfw

Additional information:

Social media toolkit suicide prevention

BSL signed information video

Care Home Day 2020 – thank you to our care homes

To support Care Home Day 2020, Fife’s Health & Social Care Partnership wanted to shine a light on the care homes in Fife.

Care homes are communities within communities and every member of staff, every resident and families and friends all play a valuable role.  It really is an extended family. As an integral part of our communities, care homes provide high quality person-centred care to support the health and wellbeing of residents.

Cllr David Graham, Fife Council Spokesperson for Health said:

From left Cllr David Graham, Nicky Connor, John Cooper, Service Manager, FHSCP, David Heaney, Divisional General Manager, FHSCP and Ostlers House staff Kirsten Wilkie, Helen Oliver, Eddie Hepburn and Elaine Patrick. Kneeling is Elaine Siggers with the star of the show Ozzie the home’s therapet.

“Our care home staff really are amazing, and I would like to thank every care home worker for the commitment and passion they show in supporting residents and their families, not only through this pandemic but every day. Staff have come up with so many different ways of keeping residents entertained and families and friends have been very supportive of the care and attention that their families have received, and they continue to receive.”

Cllr Graham joined Fife’s Health & Social Care Director Nicky Connor and Divisional General Manager David Heaney at Ostlers House Care Home today in Kirkcaldy.

Nicky Connor, Director of Fife HSCP added: “It really was very humbling speaking to staff. They are an inspiring group of people and what they have done to keep families connected throughout this period whilst visiting was cancelled has been really innovative. Having the ability to use iPads to connect with families and friends has made a huge difference and residents adapted well to using Facetime. Visiting has now resumed, although this looks a little different with physical distancing measures and PPE now the norm. I can’t thank care home staff enough for their commitment to keeping their communities safe and well”.

Scottish Care’s Paul Dundas and Fiona Mckay, Head of Strategic Planning, Performance and Commissioning. FHSCP also popped along to Bandrum Care Home in Saline to catch up with staff.

From left Fiona Mckay, Paul Dundas, Rachel Payne (Bandrum), Jacquie Stringer, Service Manager, FHSCP and Katherine Spence (Bandrum)

Fiona added: “We work closely with our independent care providers and relationships have been enhanced throughout the pandemic, supporting each other and working together has been key to everything we have achieved. The generosity also received from local organisations who have helped out during this crisis has been appreciated. This really is partnership working at its’ best”

Paul also added: “Care homes are an essential part of our communities and staff demonstrate their commitment and compassion every day, always putting those they care for at the heart of everything they do. Their dedication and professionalism are inspirational, and I can’t thank them enough.

Care homes in Fife – visiting restrictions easing

From today, families and friends can now visit their loved ones in care homes.

Over the past few months, care home staff in Fife have been supporting residents to keep connected via phone and face time calls while in person visits were suspended.

Cllr Rosemary Liewald, Chair of Fife’s Integration Joint Board said:

“I would like to say a huge thank you to all Fife’s care home staff – they have been amazing throughout this period. It hasn’t been an easy time for residents and their families not being able to visit in person. Care home staff have really stepped up to the challenge to ensure other measures were put in place to keep families connected.”

Visiting care homes will be a bit different. There will be a phased approach and in this phase before any visits resume, the care home needs to be covid-19 free for 28 days. Each phase of the approach will be dependent on guidance from Scottish Government based on scientific advice.

Initially, it will be essential visits and garden visits with a designated visitor that will be permitted. Physical distancing measures will be in place and visitors and residents must wear PPE. Care homes have been contacting families and friends of care home residents with information on how to arrange a visit and what to expect.

David Heaney, Divisional General Manager, Fife Health & Social Care Partnership added:

“We know how important it is for the wellbeing of residents and their families to have these connections, so it’s great to see visits resuming. I can’t thank care home staff enough for all they have been doing and continue to do to support residents and the innovative ways they have been keeping residents safe and entertained.

“Our residents and staff are our priority and visits will be managed by the care home to ensure the safety of residents, their visitors and staff. To arrange a visit please contact the care home first. Residents remain at a higher risk from covid-19 because of their age and/or medical conditions so if you have been feeling unwell in any way please do not visit.”

Picture caption:

Cllr Rosemary Liewald (centre) pictured with care home staff from Lindsay House Care Home in Lumphinans. Paula Jackowiak (Senior Social Care Worker) on the left and Dean Reekie (Care Assistant) on the right.

Making HIV testing more accessible

Fife Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) is pleased to announce that testing for HIV can now be carried out at home. A new free home testing kit is making testing easier and will lead to more people getting diagnosed earlier 

Self (Home)-testing is fast, safe, accurate and convenient and it provides people with another option that can help them get swift access to treatment if required. The test is quick to use, giving results within 15 minutes and support is available to anyone regardless of results.  

Fife HSCP’s Sexual Health & Blood Borne Virus (SH&BBV) services has worked in partnership with HIV Scotland, Waverley Care and Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland to develop and offer this new testing kit. 

 

Heather Bett, Fife HSCP Executive Lead for SH & BBV said: “Early diagnosis of HIV infection enables better treatment options and reduces the risk of transmitting the infection to others. Fife HSCP is committed to reducing new infections and late diagnosis of HIV. The free home testing kits areparticularly effective tools during the Coronavirus pandemic. They will help people get tested and treated early if they test positive. HIV is a virus that has been with us for a long time, but it is one that is preventable though a range of methods.  I would encourage anyone who thinks they may have been at risk of contracting HIV to seek advice about accessing a test from their GP or ordering a home testing kit online www.hivtest.scot and www.tht.org.uk.” 

 

Dr Naomi BulteelFife HSCP Consultant in Infectious Diseases said: We also want to raise awareness amongst GPs and clinicians about the importance of considering an HIV test as part of routine examinations, particularly where people may show symptoms of undiagnosed HIV. The earlier someone is diagnosed the better. Advances in medicines mean that people with HIV on effective treatment can live healthy lives with zero risk of passing on the virus sexually”. 

 

Nathan Sparling, Chief Executive, HIV Scotland said: 

Diagnosing HIV is the most important part of our mission to reach zero new HIV transmissions, so it’s important that different testing options exist, especially when the advice remains to stay at home due to the Coronavirus 

“For most people, self-testing is fast, safe, accurate and convenient – and it provides people with another option that can help people get swift access to treatment if needed. It’s important for everyone to know their HIV status so they can protect their health and that of their partners too. 

“With HIV Self Test Scotland, we can play our part in the global mission to get to zero by 2030.”  

 

The UK is one of the few countries in the world to have reached and exceeded all UNAIDS 90:90:90 targets. (90% of those infected, diagnosed, 90% of those diagnosed on treatment and 90% of those on treatment have an undetectable viral load)  Of those people living with HIV in the UK in 2018, 93% were diagnosed, 97% of people diagnosed were receiving treatment and 97% of people receiving treatment were virally suppressed (undetectable viral load). 

Our pharmacies are doing a great job – please be patient and kind

Throughout this pandemic, the 85 community pharmacies across Fife have remained open to support the people of Fife. As a first port of call for clinical advice and medicines supply, our local pharmacies are providing a vital and valued service.

Physical distancing measures to control the spread of the Coronavirus means that queues are forming outside many of our pharmacies as individuals wait to be seen.

Scott Garden, Director of Pharmacy & Medicines, NHS Fife said: “Fife pharmacies support people across all sections of our communities including our most vulnerable. Pharmacies are frequently extremely busy and physical distancing means it’s very common for queues to form as people wait to be served. This is not ideal, and I’d like to thank everyone for their patience, understanding and acceptance that queuing, for the time-being will become routine when accessing a community pharmacy.”

Cllr David Graham, Fife Council Spokesperson for Health & Social Care added, “There is no doubt these are challenging times and our pharmacy teams are doing all they can to support our communities, access medicines and healthcare advice, while at the same time managing limited space and queue management. I urge everyone to be patient, tolerant and kind to others waiting to be served and pharmacy teams who are continuing to deliver vital services to communities across Fife.”

Latest Adult Support and Protection newsletter available

Here’s the latest newsletter from the Adult Support and Protection Committee. This is available in different formats (pdf and plain text format for those using assistive technology).

We also have an easy read version of the ‘Staying safe, keeping well’ leaflet – a reminder of support organisations’ contact details, information on staying safe from scammers and advice on keeping well during lockdown.