Prestigious award for caring project

The award-winning NHS Lanarkshire Psychology Team
The award-winning NHS Lanarkshire Psychology Team

A local authority partnership team which aims to improve the lives of older people has won a prestigious national award.

The Psychology Project in North Lanarkshire won the health and social care integration category at the Herald Society Awards which celebrates best practice in the public and voluntary sector.

The Psychology Project has seen frontline health and social care staff trained in basic psychology techniques by a small team of NHS Lanarkshire psychologists. Staff then use the skills to improve lives of older people.

The psychology initiative is the first of its kind in Scotland and has been funded by the Reshaping Care for Older People programme, which aims to support growing numbers of people who are 65 years and over by providing more care at home, in homely settings and in the community.

The win is timely as a new Act requires health boards and local authorities to integrate their adult health and social care services.

Jenny Hutton, service manager of the Older Adults Team (Social Work) at North Lanarkshire Council, has played a lead role.

She explained: “We’re delighted to have been recognised in this way and it’s testament to the hard work and commitment of all involved.

“The weeks following a significant event such as a hospital admission, a fall or sudden episode of poor health, are critically important in terms of people’s health. They also present a window of opportunity to change expectations about coping with the future.”

Councillor Jim Smith, chairman of the Transition Integration Board for North Lanarkshire and depute leader of the council, added: “This recognition underlines the expertise, innovation and commitment of staff working together to improve lives and outcomes for people.”

The NHS Lanarkshire psychology team consist of senior psychologist Dr Susan Ross and two health psychology trainees, Heather Locke and Catherine Murray.