Chief Officers to Integration Authorities from across Scotland welcome Audit Scotland’s recently published report, Health and social care integration: Update on progress.
While the integration of health and social care services is a major programme of reform – integration is not the goal in itself. The purpose of integration is to transform peoples’ health and wellbeing outcomes as well as their experience of the care they receive in their local communities.
Chief Officers recognise that progress is being made and services are becoming easier for people to navigate. However, they also recognise that significant challenges still exist, including planning of services, planning of finances and clarifying where exactly governance responsibility lies. Health and social care services that are planned and delivered together in partnership, including voluntary and independent sectors, offer the greatest opportunity for better outcomes for people, including better quality of care and improved sustainability.
Audit Scotland’s report addresses the challenges being experienced from Shetland to Scottish Borders. Scotland’s 31 Chief Officers acknowledge and welcome the recommendations within the report and look forward to working collaboratively with all those involved in delivering successful health and social care services.
Financial pressure on integration authorities is very significant. Delivering change to ensure community focussed, preventative care is able to be put in place, continues to be challenging. The lack of joined up budgeting coupled with increasing expectation of significant savings is counter-productive and can result in increased and often unnecessary demand on certain services, e.g. hospital based services. This is contrary to the principles of integration. Cohesive, collaborative working can reduce duplication and demand – improved financial planning is at the heart of this. The Scottish Government Medium Term Health and Social Care Financial Framework (October 2018) highlights that shifting the balance of care from hospital to home is one of the key policy commitments of the Health and Social Care Delivery Plan and the lack of joined up budgeting represents a key risk.
The joint statement (issued 26 September 2018) by Scottish Government, COSLA, Solace and NHS Scotland sets out their shared responsibility for ensuring successful integration of health and social care in Scotland. Their endorsement of the significant reform being undertaken by integration authorities across Scotland, in conjunction with findings and recommendations of Audit Scotland’s report, means that integration is here to stay. With this national support and affirmation of purpose and way ahead, Chief Officers anticipate that all parties, nationally and locally, will reciprocate so that successful integration becomes a reality, consistently applied across the country. It’s about people. It’s about improving health and wellbeing outcomes for the people of Scotland – working better for the people we serve.
Issued on behalf of: David Williams, Chair of Health and Social Care Scotland
Date: 14 November 2018
Notes to Editor
Health and Social Care Scotland (HSCScotland) is a national collaboration through which those who lead change within health and social care partnerships can come together to learn from each other, work collectively and support one another to deliver better health and wellbeing outcomes for the people of Scotland.
HSCScotland is a network of health and social care leaders, representing the 31 health and social care partnerships in Scotland: Chief Officers, Chief Finance Officers, Integration Joint Board Chairs and Vice Chairs and strategic planning managers of health and social care services.
HSCScotland shared vision is: A Scotland where health and social care services are delivered in a sustainable and integrated way and people receive the treatment, care and support they need at the right time and in the right setting, with a focus on community based and preventative approaches.
• We will lead the planning of integrated health and social care services in our communities, to be delivered in a radically reformed way to achieve improved health and wellbeing outcomes for the people of Scotland.
• We will champion the voices of people who use our services, our staff and our communities.
• We will promote the interests of people in need of health and social care services by working together to shape and influence policy, practice and legislation.
• We will work collaboratively with partners from across our communities and care sectors to help future-proof health and social care services in Scotland.
• We will support the development of capable and confident system leaders to work strategically across the health and social care sector.
Health and Social Care Scotland is led by the Chief Officer Executive Group.
Chair: David Williams (also Chief Officer of Glasgow City)
Vice-chair: Vicky Irons (also Chief Officer of Angus)
Treasurer: Adam Coldwells (also Chief Officer of Aberdeenshire)
Secretary: Judith Proctor (also Chief Officer of Edinburgh City)