About OPAL:

OPAL is a free information, advice and referral service for all adults (16+) in East Dunbartonshire who use health services (even if using health services only means being registered with a GP in the area). OPAL is a single point of contact for all sorts of information, advice, and access to services across the entire area.

The OPAL service is free, and all that you pay for is a local telephone call. All the OPAL advisers work in the local area, they know the local area and they know what services and support are available, and where to find them.

OPAL is a co-operative venture between:

My GP advised my mother to grant a Power of Attorney, but she had no idea what that was or how to go about it. OPAL was able to explain Power of Attorney to us, and put us in contact with solicitors who were familiar with the process.

Carer Milngavie

History:

OPAL was originally commissioned as an older people’s service, funded through the Scottish Government’s Change Fund, part of the Reshaping Care for Older People programme. Using an ‘anticipatory and preventative approach’ to deliver support to older people, OPAL aimed to ensure that they were ‘valued as an asset, their voices are heard and they are supported to enjoy full and positive lives in their own home or in a homely setting’. OPAL started taking calls from older people in July 2012.

When the older people’s Change Fund came to an end, East Dunbartonshire Health & Social Care Partnership recognised OPAL had been successful and decided that the model worked well enough to roll out to all adult health service users – which we interpret as anyone 16 years or older who are registered with a GP in East Dunbartonshire.

It is now more than six years down the line, and OPAL is still going strong, gaining awareness amongst the people of East Dunbartonshire, as well as amassing a broad knowledge of the community assets, services and support available across the area.