Press Release 18th November, 2013

Committee calls for clarification on plans to integrate health and adult social care

Legislation which will integrate the delivery of health and adult social care in order to improve outcomes for patients has been supported by the Health and Sport Committee. However, a number of issues have been raised by the Committee that need clarification including the reach of Ministerial powers, the role of GPs and also the percentage of health board budgets that will go towards financing delivery of joint care.

The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill creates new governance arrangements to support joint working between local authorities and the NHS. This includes the creation of nationals outcomes set by Scottish Ministers and a integration plan delivered by a joint board or lead agency model with a significant budget responsible for commissioning services.

Convener of the Committee Duncan McNeil MSP said:

“We already know that where integrated health and social care is successful it results in better outcomes for patients. The quality of care for patients improves, people are not unnecessarily delayed in hospital and patients are supported to live a comfortable life in their own home.

“However, integrating different organisations with different cultures and principles is never going to be simple. Whilst this Committee supports the principle behind this legislation, there are clearly a number of issues that need to be addressed for this legislation to deliver the better outcomes it promises”.