IJB committee makes winter preparations

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Plans to keep health services running smoothly in Lanarkshire were discussed at a recent strategy meeting of the IJB Performance, Finance and Audit Committee.

A multi-agency winter planning group was tasked with submitting its draft plan in September and achieved this deadline.

Work is also ongoing to anticipate increased pressure on services that may result from winter conditions.

A major review of the effects of the 2017/18 winter has also been undertaken and the findings used to help shape the new plans.

Some GP surgeries will be open on Boxing Day and January 2, as well as on the Saturdays of January 5 and 12.

Publicity efforts will also highlight the importance of the flu vaccine for vulnerable groups such as children and over 65s, as well as encouraging patients to ensure their medication will not run out during the festive period.

Care homes will be given specialist advice on how to prepare for winter, such as what to do in the event of a possible Norovirus outbreak.

NHS Lanarkshire has been given £1 million by the Scottish Government and has also earmarked £500,000 of its own funding specifically for winter-related issues. Its plans currently exceed that level of expenditure so it’s seeking additional funding sources.