PRESS RELEASE: JEAN URQUHART DISTRIBUTES AGE SCOTLAND CALENDARS

Jean Urquhart MSP has distributed free copies of Age Scotland’s ‘Hot Tips’ calendar that contains useful advice for older people preparing for winter to groups across the Highlands and Islands.

More than 50,000 copies of the calendar, funded by the Scottish Government, have been produced this year by Age Scotland as part of their “Spread the Warmth” campaign, with tips on health care, household repairs and welfare benefits all contained within its pages.

Jean, an independent MSP for the Highlands and Islands, said:

“I am more than happy to play my part in distributing Age Scotland’s calendars, and have already passed some to groups and constituents across the Highlands and Islands.

“With Scotland’s ageing population, it is increasingly important that we are all aware of ways to make life easier for older people, and for making that information as easy to access as possible.

“These calendars are an innovative tool that keeps handy hints on how to keep safe, warm and healthy on our wall all year round.

“Although it’s bad luck to open a calendar before January 1st, I hope these calendars will bring good fortune to those who obtain one.”

PRESS RELEASE: URQUHART WELCOMES HIGHLAND INVOLVEMENT IN FAMILY NURSE PROGRAMME

Jean Urquhart today welcomed news of a pioneering programme which provides support to first-time young parents being extended to the Highlands.

The Family Nurse Partnership programme, which aims to give children a healthier start in life, is already up and running in Lothian, Tayside, Fife, Glasgow and Ayrshire & Arran council regions.

Family nurses visit expectant mums every one or two weeks during pregnancy and throughout the first two years of their baby’s life, offering guidance and supporting mothers to make positive choices on areas such as child development, preventative health measures, parenting skills, breastfeeding, better diet information and on education and employment.

The evidence from programmes already up and running in the US shows that it is improving prenatal health, increasing young mothers’ uptake of employment, resulting in fewer unintended pregnancies and helping to reduce child neglect.

The programme will be up and running in Highland by early next year, and will see a team of four nurses supporting 100 families.

Jean Urquhart welcomed the Government’s announcement, saying:

“The Highlands is deservedly gaining a reputation for pioneering the integration of health and social care. This will help us to explore the benefits of delivering such an intensive programme in a formally integrated health and social care environment.

 “The programme has been running in the Lothian region for two and a half years now and evaluation of the impact of the project has so far shown positive results.

“Intervening at the earliest possible opportunity to support those in our society who are most in need is the key to improving Scotland’s health. I look forward to seeing this programme bring benefits to a region which is already at the forefront of Scotland’s innovation in health.”

The programme is the brainchild of Dr David Olds, Professor of Paediatrics and Director, Prevention Research Center for Family and Child Health, University of Colorado.