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Scotland looks towards integrated care services

16 May 2012 - 2:04pm

The Scottish Government is proposing that adult health and social care be integrated across the country.

In a consultation published earlier this month, the Scottish Government suggests that Health and Social Care Partnerships should be created to run integrated services.

Partnerships could be established as stand-alone bodies, or health boards and local authorities could delegate powers to a partnership.

The government’s proposals come after a report from the Scottish Parliament’s health and sport committee, which has been looking into earlier government proposals on integration.

Structural re-organisation

The MSPs warned that structural re-organisation should not be the ‘driver’ of integrated care. And they welcomed earlier government assurances that greater integration would not mean wholesale transfers of staff between employers.

CSP chief executive Phil Gray gave evidence to the committee inquiry, and some of his comments were included in the report.

Mr Gray advocated integration of budgets as an alternative to structural changes, saying: ‘If people need to invest to save, there must be joined-up budgets that recognise the collective benefits of doing that, and which can work towards a new and better system.’

CSP concerns

CSP policy officer for Scotland Kenryck Lloyd-Jones welcomed the fact that the government and the health committee had listened to CSP concerns over the risks of structural change.

‘Moving staff and reconfiguring employment would pose a distraction that could take the energy out of the efforts to improve and integrate services,’ he said.

Consultation on the proposals close on 31 July.

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