A CONSULTATION is to be carried out into the possibility of home care services being provided by an organisation other than Orkney Health and Care (OHAC).
Views and ideas will be sought from people who use home care services, carers and staff, as well as the wider Orkney community.
This follows an independent study which recommended that OHAC, a partnership between Orkney Islands Council and NHS Orkney, should assess how best to provide home care in the county.
As a result, an exercise was carried out earlier this year to see if other organisations would be interested in providing some or all of the home care services currently delivered by OHAC.
In all, 26 expressions of interest were received from a wide range of organisations, some of them companies that provide home care services elsewhere in the country, others locally based.
Caroline Sinclair, Head of Service with OHAC, said: “When you look at other areas of the country, Orkney is fairly unusual in that the only home care service available is the one provided by Orkney Health and Care.
“At this stage we are simply considering whether this important service could be delivered more effectively – and more efficiently – in another way.
“So we are keen to get feedback about the possibility of home care in Orkney being provided by other organisations on our behalf – or whether it should continue to be delivered by OHAC.
“It is particularly important that we hear from people who currently use or have experience of using or working in, or with, our home care service, but we are also keen to hear the views of the wider Orkney community.
“No decisions have been taken at this point and the service is continuing unchanged at present. Any changes to the way service is delivered will only be made once the Board of Orkney Health and Care has considered all the views and suggestions we receive through the consultation.”
The consultation will take place over the next two month.
In addition, letters inviting feedback will be sent shortly to everyone who currently uses the home care service in Orkney and to current home care staff.
During the consultation, which closes on September 9, a number of drop-in meetings will be held at various locations in the county, to give people the chance to ask questions and pass on their views.