COSLA/IS Conference

NHS Health Scotland’s presence at the 2012 COSLA/IS Annual Conference enabled strategic discussion with senior local government representatives (chief executives, council leaders and senior elected members) as well as other key public sector leaders (i.e. Scottish Government, Improvement Service (IS), Society Of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE), Birmingham City Council, and the Joint Improvement Team (JIT)).

These discussions focused on a range of issues such as the relationship between local government and the NHS, opportunities for joint working, and the role of local government in tackling health inequalities.

NHS Health Scotland Exhibition

The NHS Health Scotland exhibition had two main themes: Early Years/Early Intervention and Local Authority (LA) tailored/specific resources.

The NHS Health Scotland Exhibition displayed materials such as elected member briefing notes, Equally Well Test site findings, LA profiles, a range of early years materials including child smile and the Coping with Dementia DVD for carers. The LA profiles were the most popular take away resource along with the Coping with Dementia DVD for carers.

Our exhibition stand was well attended with plenty of opportunity to make contacts, share information and to speak to the First Minister, one of the many stand visitors to hear more about our work and take away resources including our Coping with Dementia DVD for carers.

Fringe Session - It's no fair!

Led by NHS Health Scotland Chair, Margaret Burns and Chief Executive Gerald McLaughlin, the session addressed what works to tackle health inequalities and Cllr. Paul McLennan (Leader of East Lothian Council) and NHSHS Board Member Cllr. Betty Fullerton explored the role council elected members can play, particularly from the Early Years Equally Well Test site perspective.

The workshop was well attended by 40 delegates comprising of a mix of COSLA, Scottish Government and IS staff, council CEOs, academics and councillors and generated a great deal of interest and discussion.

Access the PowerPoint presentation used in the session.

Emerging Conference Themes

The conference sessions highlighted interesting themes, notably from COSLA themselves, leaders of the opposition and the Joint-Director for health in Birmingham City Council. Emerging conference themes are as follows:

  • The main theme running throughout was the need to do more with less. Speakers consistently made reference to the fact that demand for services will soon outweigh local government’s capacity to deliver.
  • Speakers stressed their caution that the Christie Review should not become an historical document; we need to move forward on the recommendations with more urgency.
  • There was another on-going theme of prevention and tackling inequalities one way this manifested was through the need to address child poverty and that Welfare reform will increase poverty in both real and relative scales was mentioned frequently in presentations.
  • The Joint-Director for Public Health in Birmingham described the approach he was leading down south towards service redesgin, and praised the current efforts in Scotland as groundbreaking in many aspects (e.g. telecare).
  • Spokesperson for Health and Social Care, Cllr Douglas Yates stated the need for building a strong business case for early intervention and the reduction of health inequalities, starting with the need to respond to scarcity of resources.
  • Rory Mair, CEO, COSLA offered a thoughtful session on the pros and cons of a partnership approach to COSLA’s relationship with SG.
  • Colin Mair, CEO, Improvement Service highlighted the elements of successful change programmes including articulate and agreed stories, combined with pragmatism and ambition combined, reconciling the on-going and the new.

Find out more about the COSLA/IS Conference (external link).

Page reviewed 28 July 2014

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