Less uncertainty, more ambition for LOHO

Following our case study of the work of Lorn and Oban Healthy Options in a previous edition of CHEX point we are pleased to report that information from their Chair Hugh McLean confirms that they are on a more secure funding footing. 

Hugh tells us that

“LOHO have forged highly collaborative, relationships with the statutory sector partners in both the Local Authority and Health Board. We feel that we are contributing to a changing culture in relation to health not just with the individual people that benefit from our services but also within the Health and Social Care system via our co-produced services. Since the beginning of integrated care we have been continuing to engage with senior management. In our conversations we make reference to all the papers and policy documents that show that what we do is needed e.g. the Christie Commission.

While a secure long-term future remains an aspiration as it does for so many community-led health organisations, within the past few months a breakthrough has been achieved with three year funding having become a realisable target. With the support of The Robertson Trust, further indications of support from the local Health & Social Care Partnership, funding for social prescribing via our membership of the Scottish Communities for Health and Welbeing (SCHW) and their successful bid to the Big Lottery Thus our future is more secure. 

One cannot be overoptimistic but with this support plus a few other smaller contributors we have forged ahead to appoint a Development Manager on a 3 year contract. There are two key objectives, managing the present operation including securing the necessary finances and secondly identifying health and wellbeing needs within the community and making sure Healthy Options, through continued working in partnership, meets those needs.

Healthy Options remain firm believers that “If the problems are in the community, the solutions are in the community” The NHS alone cannot address the health issues we all face we believe it is only at the community level with everyone working together that the issues in Health and wellbeing can be successfully addressed. To evidence this approach following an initial initiative by Healthy Options there will be a Health Fayre In Oban on the 1st September at which a group involving many other organisations will launch the development of Oban as Scotland’s first Healthy Living Town.”

As said previously at CHEX we feel that LOHO typifies the achievements and challenges faced by many organisations in the community-led health sector. We continue to look to our statutory sector colleagues to see what they can do within the challenges they also face to secure the future of these organisations whose very independence from the strictures of statutory systems is a key and complimentary strength.

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