Integration of health and social care is the Scottish Government’s ambitious programme of reform to instigate transformational change to the provision of health and social care services, ensuring that services work together to achieve better outcomes for Scotland’s communities.
GCVS is involved with the process in Glasgow, working with key partners in the third, public and independent sectors to ensure the views of our members, carers and users of health and social care services help to inform the process of integration and future delivery of services in Glasgow.
The city has formed a Joint Integration Board (IJB), to oversee the integration process. The Board includes representation from the third and independent sectors, as well as service users and carers. It recently published the Glasgow City Strategic Plan for Health and Social Care 2016 -19.
While the IJB is the overarching citywide authority, there are also geographical and thematic groupings to provide for and respond to local needs. These include 3 sector partnerships, to mirror the current arrangements for Social Work and Community Health Partnerships, which are organised on a north-west, north-east and south area basis and thematic planning groups for specialist areas such as mental health and disability. A draft Scheme of Integration was published on 2nd February 2015, which sets out the functions carried out by Glasgow City Council and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde that are to be integrated and which will become the responsibility of the Joint Integration Board.
Shona Stephens, Chief Executive of Queens Cross Housing Association, represents Glasgow’s Third Sector Forum on the Integrated Joint Board.
Integration will be an ongoing process, with many opportunities for third sector involvement, given the sector’s role in the provision of innovative, preventative services that help people stay well at home.
The GCVS Community Connectors project is piloting one approach that links older people with services in their communities, aiming to keep people engaged and active and to help reduce social isolation and loneliness. This 3 year pilot project will demonstrate the value that local third sector organisations can add to the objectives around prevention and early intervention, which are at the core of the Scottish Government’s vision for health and social care services. You can find more information on this project here.
GCVS will provide regular updates on the progress of health and social care integration in these pages and in our e-bulletins.
The Public Bodies Joint Working (Scotland) Act 2014 placed the integration of health and social care on a legislative footing and gained royal assent on 1 April 2014, to be enacted on 1 April 2015.
The Act made provision for the creation of 32 Health and Social Care Partnerships in Scotland’s local authority areas to cater for the needs of their respective populations. The process will be one of continuous improvement, ensuring more responsive, joined up health and social care services for the people of Scotland. Over time, resources should be moved from crisis spend and emergency responses to preventative, community-based models of care, involving health and social care services across the public, third and private sectors.
Measuring the Impact
The success of integration will be measured against the Scottish Government’s nine National Health and Wellbeing Outcomes, which are high-level statements of what health and social care partners are attempting to achieve through integration and ultimately through the pursuit of quality improvement across health and social care.
By working with individuals and local communities, Integration Authorities will support people to achieve the following outcomes:
Outcome 1: People are able to look after and improve their own health and wellbeing and live in good health for longer.
Outcome 2: People, including those with disabilities or long term conditions, or who are frail, are able to live, as far as reasonably practicable, independently and at home or in a homely setting in their community.
Outcome 3. People who use health and social care services have positive experiences of those services, and have their dignity respected.
Outcome 4. Health and social care services are centred on helping to maintain or improve the quality of life of people who use those services.
Outcome 5. Health and social care services contribute to reducing health inequalities.
Outcome 6. People who provide unpaid care are supported to look after their own health and wellbeing, including to reduce any negative impact of their caring role on their own health and well-being.
Outcome 7. People who use health and social care services are safe from harm.
Outcome 8. People who work in health and social care services feel engaged with the work they do and are supported to continuously improve the information, support, care and treatment they provide.
Outcome 9. Resources are used effectively and efficiently in the provision of health and social care services.
Integration Boards will be required to report back to the Scottish Government on their performance against these outcomes as health and social care integration progresses.