Focus on health provision in Falkirk area

Community councillors meet with health officials from NHS Forth Valley
Community councillors meet with health officials from NHS Forth Valley

Talks have taken place in a bid to address residents’ concerns about health provision for communities in the Upper Braes.

Maddiston Community Council arranged the meeting because of complaints from locals that they don’t have fair or decent access to services such as GPs and clinics.

The group has pushed the authorities to review provision and a fruitful meeting was held last Thursday with staff from Falkirk Primary Health Care Tust, residents, council officials and local councillors.

NHS Forth Valley said a number of “potential opportunities” are now being explored. These include more health visitors for mums and toddlers, better services for older people and a long-term review of future health needs.

Community council secretary Jacqueline McDevitt was happy with progress.

She said: “Everyone acknowledged traditional approaches to medical care and social services had to change given limited budgets, the increasing demands being placed on facilities and the need to bring health care in its broadest meaning into the community.

“The major priorities for health care still remain looking after youngsters, the young mothers and senior members of the Maddiston community.

“However, we were reminded by our councillors that these priorities were the same for the whole Upper Braes.

“It was also agreed we should consider other opportunities for simplifying 
arrangements. One particular issue for many is the access to transport and its cost. This will be considered in conjunction with other providers.”

Kathy O’Neil, NHS Forth Valley’s general manager for community health services, said: “Plans include health visitors working more closely with the mother and toddler group and developing activities and services for older people. In the longer term we also plan to review primary and community health services to ensure we meet the 
current and future health needs of communities across Forth Valley.”

Another meeting will be held in December to monitor progress.

Braes Councillor John McLuckie said: “After five years of constantly raising this important issue fthere is now positive dialogue and efforts taking place and we must keep that momentum going.”