Major service change reports

Major service change reports

The guidance followed in publishing this report has since been superseded by the Planning with People guidance

NHS Highland's consultation on the proposed modernisation of community and hospital services in Badenoch and Strathspey

This report sets out our assessment of whether NHS Highland's engagement and consultation process for the proposed modernisation of community and hospital services in Badenoch and Strathspey followed Scottish Government guidance, which requires that NHS boards seek, listen to and act on the views of potentially affected people and communities when proposing changes to services.

Based on the evidence outlined in this report, our view is that NHS Highland has followed the national guidance set out by the Scottish Government.

A report on NHS Highland's consultation on the proposed modernisation of community and hospital services in Badenoch and Strathspey
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File type: pdf
File size: 2 MB
Publication date: October 2014

Overall, feedback received indicated that the majority of people had understood the reasons for change, how the proposals had been developed, and felt listened to and that there had been sufficient opportunity to take part in the consultation.

Areas of good practice we identified

  • Early meetings and discussion with communities, groups and the public developed an understanding within the community on the need for change.
  • The mail drop of the summary consultation paper to every household and local business allowed a wide exposure of the proposals and consultation process, and methods for participating.
  • Ongoing review of the approach taken during the process, and in particular the midway review, allowed for a responsive and proactive approach during the consultation.
  • Responding to requests for meetings or further information during the consultation demonstrated an active consultation process.
  • The 'walkabouts' undertaken in local communities allowed for more targeted engagement and awareness raising in small community settings.
  • Use of social media including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter (including the hashtag #strathchat as part of the engagement and consultation process).
  • The way in which steering group members were encouraged to share information and get feedback from local groups and networks during the option appraisal allowed for a more open and transparent process.

Learning points

  • If NHS Highland plans to carry out mail drops in future consultations we would suggest carrying it out earlier in the process. Feedback suggested that people who attended the earlier meetings during the consultation had not had the opportunity to review the consultation materials.
  • Consideration should be given to include public meetings dates in the summary consultation paper. Our feedback indicated the summary paper was the document most respondents had read.
  • Consideration should be given to including the survey with the summary document. This may encourage people who would rather respond by post to do so more easily.
  • For future consultations, NHS Highland may wish to include the findings of the initial transport assessment work. Feedback and points raised highlighted transport and access as a key area of interest for local people during the consultation.
  • Consider sharing the options discounted during the option appraisal and the reasons for this at the public meetings. This will enable those attending to see that all practical options have been considered.

NHS Highland plans to discuss its final proposal at the October 2014 Board meeting. If the proposal is supported by the Board it will then go to Scottish Government for a final decision by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing.

Last Updated: 15 November 2021