Edinburgh’s health and social care providers have unveiled plans to improve the well-being and creating a better service for people by forging closer ties between the NHS and Edinburgh Council.
Both organisations are required to integrate the planning and delivery of certain services through legislation set out by the Scottish Government relating to all Scottish local authorities, in the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 (the Act) and some work has already been achieved on that. The Director of Health and Social Care at the council is jointly employed by NHS Lothian to enable some meaningful integration.
Combining adult health and social care services will allow the City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian to:
- Train and support staff to work together to meet people’s needs;
- Improve health and reduce inequalities;
- Give communities an active role in designing and delivering services;
- Use shared resources in the most cost-effective way.
A Draft Integration Scheme will set out how the agencies will work together to deliver services through what will be known as a new organisation, the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board. A Shadow Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership Board has been operating since 2012.
A report recommending that the draft is approved to go forward for consultation will be considered by members of the Corporate Policy and Strategy Committee on 20 January 2015.
A targeted and extensive consultation plan on the draft with relevant organisations and the public will run until 20 February with the results set to be submitted to The Scottish Government for approval by 31 March 2015.
Closer ties between the NHS and Edinburgh Council Social Care are already in place at Wester Hailes Healthy Living Centre which is a joint facility that has been developed by a partnership of NHS Lothian, the City of Edinburgh Council and the local community.
Councillor Ricky Henderson, Health and Social Care Convener for the Council, said:
“These are exciting plans and are the start of a new phase of development for health and social care in Edinburgh. I am confident that they will lead to an improved and more targeted service for everyone who needs it.
“It’s important to recognise that health and social care staff from the NHS and Council already work together very effectively to deliver integrated services, and the details will build on what is a very solid foundation.
“It’s vital that we engage with all the relevant groups so that everyone has the chance to have their say on how integration should work. They will be at the heart of the scheme’s decision making process and together we can shape a more streamlined service which will lead to improved health for citizens.”
Professor Alex McMahon, Director of Strategic Planning, Performance Reporting and Information, NHS Lothian, said:
“We welcome and support these proposals on the integration of health and social care services for adults in Edinburgh.
“Having worked closely with our partners at the City of Edinburgh Council to develop this joint plan, this new approach will build on the integrated work and good relationships which already exist between health and social care colleagues and services.
“We look forward to continuing to work together on the development of these important proposals as we move forward.”