New way forward for health provision in Edinburgh

The City of Edinburgh Council's health leader has welcomed Scottish Government proposals to integrate adult health and social care services.

Councillor Ricky Henderson was speaking as councillors prepare to debate the issue at next week's meeting of the Policy & Strategy Committee.

A joint response to the proposals is set to be submitted by the Council and NHS Lothian.

Cllr Henderson said: "This is an exciting opportunity to improve outcomes for older people initially, and potentially many others who use health and social care services, by bringing together NHS and Council resources. The proposals aim to put service users' needs at the top of the agenda by providing seamless care and shared resources.

"As we move forward, I am keen to ensure that democratic accountability is at the centre of any new framework and that the third sector, service users and their carers, and other professionals are integral to the development, implementation and management of any new working arrangements. There is also scope for increased involvement at local level in the planning and delivery of services and this is welcomed."

Shulah Allan, Chair of Edinburgh Community Health Partnership and non-executive director of NHS Lothian, said: "We very much welcome and support these proposals on the integration of health and social care services for adults.

"We have worked closely with our council partners to develop a joint response to the proposals which will build on the integrated work and good relationships that already exists between health and social care colleagues and services. We look forward to working together on the development of these important proposals."

The proposals include:

  • Community Health Partnerships being replaced by Health and Social Care Partnerships
  • A nationally agreed set of outcomes will apply across health and social care - initially for older people
  • Statutory partners will combine their budgets - once again initially for older people services - to ensure maximum benefit
  • A single senior locally accountable officer will be appointed to ensure objectives are delivered

The report - Scottish Government Consultation on the Integration of Health and Social Care Services  - will be discussed at the Policy & Strategy Committee meeting on Tuesday 4 September.

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