Local News for Tuesday 11th September 2018

The NHS Western Isles (NHSWI) Patient Centred Care Programme team are delighted with the success of the first video conferencing (VC) haematology patient appointment which took place in the newly established NHS ‘Near Me’ dedicated VC room at Western Isles Hospital recently.
NHS ‘Near Me’ was first pioneered by NHS Highland and is now a collaborative programme between NHS Highland and NHS Western Isles. It uses the very popular and robust ‘Attend Anywhere’ video conferencing system which has a virtual waiting room environment, making it as close to a traditional consultation as possible.
The new NHSWI service has been developed to provide health care as close as possible to patients’ homes by offering appointments with consultants and other specialists via video link.

The move not only saves many patients from travelling to the mainland – often spending a day or more away from home to attend a short 10-15 minute consultation – but also frees up NHSWI resources for use in front-line care.
NHSWI Medical Director, Dr Angus McKellar, said: “We are acutely aware that we send many patients away to the mainland in order to access health care when we should be providing this locally. ‘This ‘Near Me’ initiative helps us to deliver health care to the patient, instead of delivering the patient to healthcare.
Dr McKellar finished by saying: “Patient feedback has been very positive; and this ‘Near Me’ initiative is the next step in this becoming mainstream and will initially include patients attending haematology clinics.”

Nearly four out of five businesses in the Highlands and Islands have highlighted the importance of employing and retaining young people and are taking steps to address the challenges of doing so.
The latest Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) Business Panel survey interviewed 1,000 businesses in June this year.
Recruiting young people was viewed as important by 79% of them; more so with firms of 25 or more employees. Young people are defined as employees in the early stages of their career. The top benefits of having them on board were given as fresh perspective (79%), potential for development (68%), ability to replace lost skills (59%), and acquisition of new skills (56%).
The main characteristics looked for in young talent were attitude and work ethic (88%), communication skills (77%), desire to keep learning (77%), and time management (76%).
Almost all respondents (92%) were confident they have the skills they need for the next two years, but were less certain about the longer term.

Scottish Government Education Secretary John Swinney was recently told by Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer MSP to ‘cut his losses’ and scrap the standardised testing of five-year-olds before the Scottish Parliament votes to instruct him to do so.
Scottish Greens have been opposed to standardised testing in schools, arguing instead for investment in additional teachers and support staff, but Mr Swinney said he remained committed to the assessments. He was reminded that a majority of MSPs support the end of at least the Primary One tests, which have reportedly left children in tears and teachers frustrated by the time wasted on an exercise which they do not find of use.
Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer MSP said: ‘Standardised testing in primary schools is unwanted and unnecessary. The weight of international evidence and the approach taken by countries like Finland, whose excellent education systems we are trying to emulate, stand completely opposed to this obsession with testing. The SNP would do well to listen before being forced to suffer yet another humiliating parliamentary defeat.’