William Eichler 05 February 2019

Scottish health and social care must ‘happen faster’, report says

Scottish health and social care must ‘happen faster’, report says image

The integration of health and social care is progressing well but needs to ‘happen faster’, a ministerial group for health and community care has concluded.

The joint report, published by the Scottish government and COSLA, has welcomed what it characterises as ‘good progress in some local areas’ on health and social care integration.

However, it warns that some local partnerships are ‘making less progress’.

The ministerial group found that there is good practice developing in terms of how Integration Joint Boards are operating and in how services are being planned and delivered.

Effective strategic planning and clear governance and accountability arrangements are recommended to ensure progress on integration continues.

The report also highlights the importance of sustained engagement with local communities.

‘Truly integrated services, focused on the needs of citizens, require our leadership and personal commitment,’ said cabinet secretary Jeane Freeman.

‘I am pleased that the Scottish Government and COSLA are working in partnership to ensure the success of integration. We need to act together and in our individual roles to accelerate progress.’

‘There are challenges we must address and we recognise that we need to adapt, compromise and support one another to deliver integration for the people of Scotland,’ she added.

Cllr Stuart Currie, the spokesperson for health and social care with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, said: ‘Good progress has been made under integration to date but, as highlighted by Audit Scotland last year, there is always more we can do to achieve improved outcomes for our communities.

‘COSLA welcomes the proposals and their broad endorsement across the system sends a strong message of commitment to the health and social care integration agenda.’

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