On the 19th November Adam Ingram visited East Lothian to see for himself the work of Support from the Start. This vist was part of a series of ministerial visits to Equaly Well test sites that are part of the reconvening of the Ministerial taskforce on health inequalities which published the Equally Well strategy.
The programme was tight for the hours visit and began with the minister being welcomed by the senior champions for the test site including Dr Sue Ross, Director of Community Services on her penultimate day with East Lothan Council before leaving for new opportunities.
The first stop involved the minister meeting staff and children from Whitecraig primary who had been involved in a forest school programme. The fast tracking of Forest school in the test site area is one of the redesign initiatives sponsored by the test site. He then met staff involved in initiating the redesign of early years play services in the community of Whitecraig in response to the output from a civic conversation in the community that demonstrated a community demand for more play opportunities.
The minister then had short conversations with some of the twenty eight service champions who provide leadership for learning about how services can tackle health inequality within the test site.
Carol Golightly – Oral Health Promoter described the redesign of oral health services in Wallyford and Whitecraig initiated by a review of the service pathway which supported the outcome of reducing dental caries by P1
Helen Duncan, Cultural Coordinator – spoke of the use of art and culture to engage people in health issues within the test site
Pauline Homer, Early Years Development officer – spoke to the minister about wraparound care and the redevelopment of breakfast provision
Fiona Herriot Children 1st described the work she has beien doing with Homestart a community champion for Support from the start in ‘Making connections’ between services involved in the early years
Ann Hume Early Years manager spoke to the minister about the links between the test site and the early years framework in East Lothian
Anne Rooney & Rebecca Haack both from Midlothian council spoke of the plans to extend the test site into Midlothian communities
Finally there was an opportunity for ten minutes of questions and group discussion before the Minister left. Hopefully, he didnt find the programme too gruelling and got a flavour of what we are trying to achieve and how we are going about it.