A Fond Farewell

Well, East Lothian Health and Social Care Colleagues what an incredibly quick ten years this has been!

When I came to East Lothian as Chief Nurse in 2012, I certainly wasn’t thinking that my career would take me to into the position of Head of Operation / Chief Nurse Role and then to becoming Chief Officer in 2019!  Nor could I possibly have predicted all that we would achieve and face together over these 10 years.  

You don’t always get the opportunity to ponder for a moment to two, however, as I have done over the last few days, it is remarkable to reflect on all that the Partnership has achieved in such a short space in time. 

I’d like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to every single member of the team across the Partnership. For all that you have personally delivered and achieved; the challenges you have overcome; and the unwavering commitment you have made to deliver our services to the people of East Lothian.

There have been so many highlights; indeed, too many to give credit to them all in one go.   However, there are undoubtedly a few, which have come to mind over past few days;

Responding to a global pandemic! 
Never has health and social care been brought to such a precipice. 
Yet it is the resilience, the strength, the steadfast commitment, and ability to adapt, change and rethink our way of working that I will never forget.  The way we ensured that the care of others was always put first.  It was privilege to be part of Team East Lothian during this time.    

Developing New Approaches
We have developed a range of approaches to support people who could not take part in building-based Adult Day Services due to COVID-19.

We Opened Hardgate Court in Haddington – a new short-break service for adults with complex learning disabilities and specific health needs.

We implemented innovative Primary Care Services including:

  • Care When it Counts
  • MDT for urgent care
  • Self-referral pathways for mental health and MSK
  • AND we launched new Community Treatment and Care Services

We opened the East Lothian Community Hospital and we then expanded the number and range of services available helping to deliver one of our key ambitions of providing health services as close to home as possible for East Lothian residents. This included working with the Edinburgh Cancer Centre to enable some treatments to be provided at ELCH, saving some patients from travelling into Edinburgh

We continued to maintain our position as one of the top performing areas in Scotland for delayed discharges. We achieved this because of our key health and social care services working closely together to focus on supporting patient discharge. The new ICAT team has brought together different services to support this process.

Above all, there is one thing for sure.  I am incredibly grateful and humbled to have had the pleasure of working with an amazing team of individuals who are focused on meeting the needs of patients, residents, service-users, their families, and the public at large.

I know that Fiona Wilson will be warmly welcomed as your new Chief Officer by a fully integrated team; passionate, strong and committed to delivering the best health, best care and best value for our communities on behalf of the East Lothian Health & Social Care Partnership. 

Thank you for all you have done.  I wish you all well for the future.

Alison