“The Cowal 24/7 Working Group has been carrying out a review of the in-patient care in Cowal Community Hospital, and the Out of Hours service for the whole of the peninsula. Following community events, our voting members met on the 14 and 21 June to discuss and score the Non financial Benefits, and Risks, for the 7 short listed options. On 4 July we met again to look at the Affordability and Value for Money elements. These are the four key components in the option appraisal process.
“Following these meetings, there are some questions on which further clarification is being sought from parties who have tendered for elements of the service so further discussion and analysis will be required. Further, there are parts of the service for which no tenders were received. These were the GP consortiums in Options 7 and 8. We accept that these options are dropped now as non viable, as will Option 2, as it is so similar to Option 1. At our next meeting scheduled for the 26 July, we will be in a position to consider the additional information sought.
“We have always maintained that the options presented were written not in tablets of stone. We can see that there are positive aspects in several of the remaining options. We will be considering how to harness these as we move ahead, and the end result may be a model which better meets our overall goals.
“We see our role as finding a safe, sustainable, and affordable service for the whole of Cowal, and we are working towards achieving that.”
Notes to Editors: As part of the NHS Highland Better Health, Better Care, Better Value process a Working Group ‘Cowal 24/7’ was convened to examine and develop potential options for the sustainable provision of GP out of hours services for the Cowal peninsula and medical cover within Cowal Community Hospital.
The Group is co-chaired by a member of the public (Heather Grier) and Dr Brian McLachlan (Clinical Lead for Helensburgh & Lomond). Membership also includes GPs, councillors, public and Community Council representatives, Scottish Ambulance Service, NHS 24, nursing staff and other health professionals.
Heather Grier’s background is primarily in accounting with HR management and she operates as a business consultant working mainly in the private sector. She is also a fellow of the Institute of Directors and a member of the Chartered Institute of Management.
Dr Brian McLachlan is a Helensburgh based GP and has experience of providing an out of hours GP service in the community as well as providing GP services for the Vale of Leven Hospital. He is also the Clinical Lead for the Helensburgh & Lomond locality.