Working in Partnership

Much of what we do within NHS Lothian is delivered in partnership with other agencies and organisations, including local authorities, police, voluntary sector and community groups.  A key route for developing joint working is through the four Community Planning Partnerships in Lothian.

Further information on community planning within each Council area can be found by clicking in the following links:

The Edinburgh Partnership

Midlothian Moving Forward

East Lothian Community Planning

West Lothian Community Planning Partnership

Community planning is the process through which public, private and third sector organisations and the community work together to plan and deliver better services and improve the quality of life for local communities.

The main aims of Community Planning are:

  • To make sure people and communities are genuinely engaged in the decisions made on public services which affect them; allied to
  • A commitment from organisations to work together, not apart, in providing better public services.

A key focus of our engagement within community planning partnerships is to drive forward the agenda for tackling health inequalities, ensuring that our children have the best start in life and breaking the cycle of poverty, inequality and poor health.

The outcomes we seek through involvement and engagement in community planning is that people live longer, healthier lives and that in doing so, we have also reduced health inequalities for people in Lothian.  The impact of effective engagement and involvement in the community planning process will result in positive outcomes across NHS Lothian.

In Lothian we have worked with the 4 Community Planning Partnerships to develop and implement Single Outcome Agreements, reflecting the priorities within NHS Lothian as well as the wider contributions we can make as a public sector body. Single Outcome Agreements are the means by which Community Planning Partnerships agree their strategic priorities for their local areas and express those priorities as outcomes to be delivered by the partners, either individually or jointly.

A key strength of SOAs is that they provide a collective response to addressing local priorities which require input from more than one single agency.  The case studies below provide examples of partnership working within each of the community planning partnership areas.

As noted above, the involvement and engagement of the community remains crucial and NHS Lothian works closely with the Public Partnership Forum to ensure the voices of the community are reflected in our partnership working.

For further information, please contact Allister Short, Strategic Programme Manager (Community Planning) on 0131 465 5592 or email

Last Reviewed: 01/06/2011