Your best wishes for 2014

Festive message from Dr Martin Cheyne, Chairman of Ayrshire and Arran NHS Board

As 2013 draws to a close, the festive season is a fitting time for me to reflect on the past year.

This summer I was delighted to welcome Michael Matheson MSP, Minister for Public Health, to Ayr for our Annual Review, when he met groups representing clinicians, trades unions, senior management, patients and carers.

During the summer I also visited several of our ‘Bringing your NHS to you’ roadshows. This was the first time NHS Ayrshire & Arran had embarked on such an extensive period of community engagement and it gave us the opportunity to speak to almost 600 members of the public and provide 127 health checks. I also spoke to lots of staff and members of the public to find out what was important to them.

Working together has been an ongoing theme throughout the year, with the introduction of our refreshed purpose - ‘Working together to achieve the healthiest life possible for everyone in Ayrshire and Arran’ - and values – Caring, Safe, Respectful.

These have been developed with the input of around 3,000 NHS Ayrshire & Arran staff and reflect our determination to improve the quality of the whole care experience for local people.

This is an exciting, yet challenging time for both NHS Ayrshire & Arran and our local authority colleagues as we look towards the integration of health and social care.

But, in working together we really can achieve the healthiest life possible for everyone in Ayrshire and Arran.

We still have challenges to meet and we are committed to addressing them to ensure our patients receive the best care and treatment NHS Ayrshire & Arran can offer.

We are committed to working with partners to ensure that the changes ahead will deliver improved services and outcomes for individuals.

I therefore look forward to the year ahead with enthusiasm and renewed commitment to protecting and improving the health and wellbeing of our service users, communities, workforce and partners.

Finally, on behalf of Ayrshire and Arran NHS Board I would like to wish you and your families a peaceful and enjoyable festive season and the healthiest possible 2014.Claudia Beamish MSP

As I sit down to write this message I find it hard to believe how fast 2013 has flown by.

It has been another busy year and the festive period offers the opportunity to reflect on the highs and lows. It is also sure to be an eventful 2014.

The festive period is a time of togetherness, when family and friends reunite from their busy lives, often from far-flung destinations, to spend time with one another.

I hope that Gazette readers have enjoyed a peaceful Christmas, and that those of you who are working throughout the festive period have been able to find some time to relax and unwind.

In my own case, we will welcome home my son from university, but with a daughter who lives overseas it is odd not to have the whole family together and my thoughts are with those whose loved ones cannot be with them at this time of year.

I also find myself thinking about those for whom the festive period presents hardship. Many people across the region are struggling with the cost of living, with unemployment stubbornly high, fuel poverty an increasing problem and more people relying on the services of food banks to feed their families.

Throughout the festive period, and throughout the year, volunteers for organisations across the region work tirelessly to support people in difficult times and they deserve tremendous praise.

In the year ahead, I will be continuing to do my best to stand up for our communities on these issues and to represent the views of my constituents.

To all of my constituents, I want to send my very best wishes for the year ahead.