Not the Illness Village
Thursday, 04 October 2018
Mr Sandy Reid, Senior Service Manager at Aberdeen Health Village.
Aberdeen City Health Village is the newest health facility in Aberdeen. This lecture will cover the history behind its inception, current and future service provision and opportunities for future development.
The President opened the meeting by welcoming Mr Sandy Reid, Senior Service Manager for the Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership (AHSCP ) and invited him to give his lecture entitled “Not the illness village“.
Mr Reid thanked the audience for the opportunity to speak to the Med Chi Society about the Aberdeen Health Village which was opened 5 years ago on Fredericks Street in Aberdeen. He opened the meeting by asking home many of the audience had been in the Health Village. From a show of hands, it was clear that around 70% of the audience had visited the Health Village.
He described the initial aspirations for the Health Village in terms of a community hospital without beds that in addition to providing outpatient capacity for local NHS services, would also include services with a community perspective with the aim enabling patients to live independent lives in the community.
He described the gradual development of the Health Village which was built over 2 council car parks in an area of Aberdeen with some deprivation. The Health Village was the first NHS building to be built under new Scottish Government funding arrangements – a process that had not been without its difficulties.
Mr Reid outlined to the audience the current services that are in place within the Health Village; several of which have relocated from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Woolmanhill . These include Sexual Health, Physiotherapy, Pain services, Radiography, Minor Surgery, Podiatry and Endoscopy services. There is also a suite of consulting rooms that are used by a range of consultants from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary including Cardiology, and Old Age Medicine. On the top floor of the building are management offices occupied by the AHSCP and also some educational space which is much in demand. He went on to describe that in addition to these clinical activities the Health Village works closely with 3rd sector organisations to promote wellbeing. There are regular displays in the front foyer (a recent one was on Mental Health) , a café of the ground floor, and regular activities to prevent loneliness and isolation (a good example being a knitting group).
Despite the undoubted success of the HV and and an increasing footfall, the development of this facility has not been without its challenges. Currently the consulting room suite is only utilised 50% of the time and there has been difficulty in “persuading “hospital based consultants of the advantages of working from this site. Work is ongoing to utilise the spare capacity with one idea currently being explored would be to use the spare consulting room space to provide some General Practice capacity within the city. The building is only open 8am till 5pm and Mr Reid described how better use could be made of the building if longer opening hours could be secured. There are also challenges in attracting and retaining staff as there is no staff parking available.
There were several questions from the audience including one relating to the lack of medical cover for patients who become unwell and a discussion around the difficulties in providing an acute diabetic service from the HV rather than at ARI. In relation to the latter question, Mr Reid replied that any service that is moved down to the Health Village would only take place after full discussion and agreement with consultant colleagues.