Scottish Health Secretary Shona Robison paid a visit to Wester Hailes Healthy Living centre this morning to announce additional funding for health and social care integration.
The investment, which will consist of £200 million, will extend the current Integrated Care Fund into 2016/17 and 2017/18, and comes on top of £100 million of funding already allocated for 2015/16. The money will be distributed among the 32 local NHS and social care partnerships that have been set up as part of the move towards integrated services.
The Integrated Care Fund forms part of over half a billion pounds of Government investment over the next three years that will be used to support integration, including £100 million over three years for delayed discharge, and £30 million over three years for Telehealth. The fund aims to give partnerships the resources to focus on preventative care and early intervention as well as support of people with multiple and long-term conditions.
The Minister visited the Healthy Living Centre as it is already a joint NHS and City of Edinburgh Council facility that provides a range of integrated, health social care and family support services. Ms Robison went on a tour of the building speaking with staff before visiting the Health Agency and chatting with the Womens Group and lending a hand in preparing some fajitas!
Ms Robison said:
The integration of health and social care services is one of the most ambitious programmes of work this Government has undertaken, and one which we believe will deliver sustainable health and social care services for the future that are centred around the needs of patients.
Only now are other parts of the UK waking up to the need for change, and the need for integrated services, which in Scotland we have been working towards for the last few years. We are now only weeks away from every part of the country having their integrated plans in place – setting out how NHS boards and local authorities are going to work together to provide care for people in their area.
Such a substantial change to the way our heal service is run needs substantial investment to make it a success, and I’m pleased to be able to announce today an additional £200 million over two years to help partnerships achieve their ambitions.
But this money will not work in isolation. Across the Government we are investing well over half a billion pounds in projects that will help make health and social care integration a success, such as investment in telehealth initiatives and building up mental health care capacity.
Integration is about improving people’s quality of life, particularly those people with long-term conditions. We know the demographics of our society are changing. By 2037 we expect the number of people with a long-term condition to rise by 83 per cent and these people need help to manage their conditions at home and in the community.
Integration will also help improve the effectiveness of the whole NHS and social care system, which can be disjointed at times. We know that people are waiting to be discharged from hospital puts extra pressures on other areas of the NHS, such as Accident and Emergency.
The new partnerships will manage almost £8 billion of health and social care resources, including the resources currently associated with 96 per cent of delayed discharge and 83 per cent of unplanned admission in the over 75s.
We also know that across Scotland, two per cent of the population account for around half of all hospital and prescribing resource. Partnerships will be focusing on making sure that those people who have complex support needs are getting the care they need to support their independence for as long as possible.
Health and social care integration is long-term change but it will also have immediate benefits. This vision, and our investment, will help to ensure that people across Scotland have access to the highest standards of care – in the right place and at the right time.