Integrated boards finalised

Written by Tom Freeman on 1 April 2015 in News

Health and social care integration plans submitted to ministers.

Large parts of health and council budgets are being merged from today, as local authorities and territorial health boards across Scotland submit their plans to work together to the Scottish Government.

Today marks the deadline for approved schemes for the integration of health and social care services, where responsibility for those who use both services will be shared between local authorities and health boards. The authorities must designate one as a ‘lead agency’ for services or defer to a separate integrated joint board.

Most parts of Scotland have opted for integrated joint boards, which will manage almost £8bn of health and social care resources, including those associated with over 96 per cent of delayed discharge.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said integration was one of the Scottish Government’s most ambitious programmes, and would shift focus from acute care to home-based care as Scotland's population of older people grows.

“It is predicted that by 2037 the number of people with a long term condition will rise by 83 per cent and what is clear is that the traditional models of care, where the NHS and the social care sector work independently of each other, are no longer suitable to effectively care for these people,” she said.

All integration partnerships will go fully live next year, although the Highlands has been operating merged budgets since 2012.

Testing the ‘lead agency’ model, NHS Highland took on responsibility for adult social care while Highland Council led on children’s services. However the region has still suffered congestion over the winter months due to a lack of social care home places.

The Scottish Government is providing an additional £100m per year to support the new partnerships over the next three years.

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