Partnership forged in an emergency

    As conference delegates discussed partnerships with health, one
    social work manager recounted his experience of partnership in
    practice.

    Jon King, area social work manager in Highland Council, together
    with his health counterpart, Gill Keel, the local manager of the
    primary care trust, were among the first on the scene at last
    week’s coach crash on the Isle of Skye.

    The crash left the driver dead and several older people on the
    bus of 43 tourists from Yorkshire injured.

    Enlisting the help of other volunteers, including a group of
    off-duty sub mariners, they helped the injured off the coach and
    organised transport to hospital. “Everyone mucked in and with
    absolutely no planning the whole episode was handled very
    smoothly,” said King.

    Later one older man fled the local hospital. Catching up with
    him, King realised the distressed man was trying to reach his wife
    who had been airlifted to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness with
    serious injuries. King escorted the man all the way to Inverness
    and reunited him with his wife.

    King was praised by his director of social work and councillors
    but denied he was a hero. “There were many others there and we all
    played our part. It was a partnership the way it should be – all
    agencies and the public working together with no fuss and the
    minimum of planning.”

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