An innovative Inverclyde service has won a CoSLA Excellence Award, seen as
being the highest achievement in Scottish local government service
At a ceremony in St Andrews last night (Thursday), the SNIPS team was given the Chair's Award. This is viewed as being the highest award for outstanding achievement. It recognises an 'exceptional standard' with achievements beyond the limit stipulated in the Awards categories or have been conducted in exceptional circumstances'. This follows on from their success in the Guardian Public Service Awards at the end of 2006.
The Special Needs In Pregnancy Service (SNIPS) is an integrated social work and health service for pregnant women living in Inverclyde who have special social or psychological needs.
The project is a good example of the Council's Social Work Service working with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the Community Drugs Team.
As Ellen Tannahill, the Children and Families manager says : "I can hardly believe that we've gained such national recognition. The whole team is delighted. Inverclyde has faced a number of challenges in fulfilling the vision of children achieving high standards of health with access to healthcare and support. For example, NHS data has highlighted the proportion of low birth weights and perinatal death rates being above the national average in Inverclyde."
SNIPS is targeted at pregnant women who:
Are dependent on drugs/alcohol or are on methadone;
have a history of psychiatric disorder;
are experiencing emotional difficulties;
have a learning or physical disability;
have a history of abuse of self or other children, or where there are
children who are looked after and accommodated;
the very young, vulnerable or socially isolated or
are experiencing domestic violence.
To help tackle this issue SNIPS provides intervention and support to pregnant women, many of whom have substance misuse issues. It also provides a targeted service to women experiencing problems such as domestic violence, mental health issues, and learning disabilities or where previous child protection concerns existed.
Councillor Sandy Nimmo, convener of Inverclyde Council's health and social care committee said : "My congratulations go to all the staff involved in this innovative project, within both social work and the health service. We are extremely proud of our staff, who, day-in, day-out help some of our most vulnerable residents." Their hard work and dedication has proven again that Inverclyde is, as last year's SWIA report stated, leading the way in many social care matters.
He added : "SNIPS is a great example of partnership working and it is the close-working relationship which plays a key part in identifying women that would benefit from the service."
Chairman of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Professor Sir John Arbuthnott, said: "I'd like to offer my warmest congratulations to the SNIPS team. This is a wonderful example to us all of what can be achieved by working in close partnership with our colleagues at the Social Work Service and the Community Drugs Team."
Ian Fraser, Corporate Director, Education and Social Care said : "This is well deserved recognition for a great project, one which is making a very real difference to lives. SNIPS is helping to keep families together, which is a big part of our social inclusion agenda as well as dealing with the menace of drugs, which is a very real issue in Inverclyde."
The service is delivered through integrated working from a number of professionals including social workers, family support workers, midwives, health visitor a community drug team worker and a senior nurse from Inverclyde Drug Services.