Councillor Kenny John MacLeod is the new chairman of the Integration Joint Board overseeing health and social care services in the Western Isles

The Integration Joint Board which oversees many Health and Social Care services in the islands has welcomed a new leader to its team.

Councillor Kenny John MacLeod, chairman of Communities and Housing at the Comhairle, has been appointed as its new Chairman.   Joining him as vice-chair is long-term IJB member and NHS Western Isles non-executive Director, Ian Burgess

Mr MacLeod said he was looking forward to the role at a time when that “effective partnership working” was vital to deal with challenges ahead in the form of tighter resources and growing demand for services and more complex care.

“Working together we can meet the challenges of providing modern Health and Social Care services and improve the lives of service users and their families across the Western Isles,” he said.

Key achievements of the IJB over the last two years include reducing the number of people delayed in hospital by two thirds over the last nine months and supporting collaboration between GP practices through a new ‘Quality Cluster’ approach, which helps to share best practice in improving patient care.  It has also worked to support more people with disabilities back from mainland placements to live in their own communities.

Its list for the future includes the continued development of the home care service and to develop a new intermediate care service, which focuses on rehabilitation after time in hospital. It will also look at redesigning mental health services to support more people on their recovery journey.

Outgoing Chairman of the IJB, Neil Galbraith, wished his successor well and praised the role of the IJB in the Western Isles.

“The past two years have seen a new era of partnership working and effective decision making about transforming health and social care services during financially challenging times,” he said.  

“Effective partnership arrangements are vital if we are to meet the challenges of providing Health and Social care services for our communities whether that be in relation to mental health redesign or the development of new services for frail older people.”