In Lothian, and across Scotland, significant changes are being made in the way that health and social care services are provided. At the heart of these changes is strengthened partnership working between the NHS and local authorities – the integration of health and social care services.
The main aim of integration is to improve the wellbeing of people who use health and social care services, particularly those whose needs are complex and involve support from health and social care at the same time.
Over the next few years, GPs, hospitals, health workers, social care staff and others will increasingly work side-by-side to share information and take a much more co-ordinated approach to the way services are delivered.
Integration came into effect in Lothian in April 2015 with the formation of four Health and Social Care Partnerships in East Lothian, Edinburgh, Midlothian and West Lothian.
Integration means that staff in NHS Lothian and our four local authority partners, City of Edinburgh Council, West Lothian Council, Midlothian Council and East Lothian Council, work together to ensure that people get the joined-up and seamless support and care that they need to live safely and independently in their own homes as long as possible.
These new partnerships have joint responsibility and accountability for working together to provide even better services for our communities.
Responsibility for planning services for health and social care are being delegated to four Integration Joint Boards (IJBs), which will be in charge of the budget and the staffing of the services.
Meetings of the Integration Joint Boards
Information about the meetings of the Integration Joint Boards is at:
Here is a copy of the Guidance on Roles, Responsibilities and Membership of the Integration Joint Board
Health and Social Care Integration – the background
New legislation, in the form of the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014, came into force on 1 April 2014. The Act requires all Health Boards and Local Authorities to integrate their health and social care services for adults.
This integration will ensure that services are better coordinated for all patients and users. This new way of working will improve the quality and consistency of services for patients, service-users, carers, families and communities.
Under the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014, the following will be put in place:
- Nationally agreed outcomes, which will apply across health and social care, and for which NHS Boards and Local Authorities will be held jointly accountable
- A requirement on NHS Boards and Local Authorities to integrate health and social care budgets
- A requirement on Partnerships to strengthen the role of clinicians and care professionals, along with the third and independent sectors, in the planning and delivery of services.
Here is a copy of the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014
What does this mean for patients, service-users, their families and carers?
The integration of health and social care services is about putting people first, with services focused on individuals and tailored to their individual needs.
Patients and service-users don’t need to do anything differently - services will be more joined-up behind the scenes and health and social care staff will be working side-by-side to support individuals and communities.
Integration is focused on three main areas for further improvement, providing:
- more integrated services, planned and delivered seamlessly and consistently around the needs of people who use our services and their carers
- flexible, sustainable budgets that can move around and between partners to maximise their impact
- services better geared towards helping people live at home safely and get back there as soon as possible when they are in hospital.
Working together will help us provide even better services for our communities and, where appropriate, people will receive high quality care closer to home. Integration will also help us deliver services that meet the needs of increasing numbers of people with longer-term and often complex needs.
Why is this happening?
People are living longer, healthier lives and as the needs of our society change, so too must the nature and form of health and care services. Through integration, local teams across health and social care will work together to deliver quality, sustainable care and services resulting in improved outcomes for the people and their families who use these services.
How will this work?
NHS Lothian is working closely with the four local authorities to deliver the integration of health and social care services across the area. Responsibility for planning services for health and social care are being delegated to four Integration Joint Boards, which will be in charge of the budget and the staffing of the services.
Each partnership has prepared an Integration Scheme using the following principles for planning services so that they:
- Are integrated from the point of view of service-users
- Take account of the particular needs of different service-users and the areas and local needs in which the service is being provided
- Take account of the particular characteristics and circumstances of different service-users and of the participation by service-users in the community in which they live
- Respect the rights and dignity of service-users
- Improve the quality of the services provided and protect and improve the safety of service-users
- Are planned and led locally in a way which is engaged with the community
- Best anticipate needs and prevent them arising
- Make the best use of the available facilities, people and other resources.
Under direction from the Scottish Government, the Community Health Partnerships (CHPs) will be replaced by the new Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs). You can find out more about the national perspective on the Scottish Government website.