First Minister highlights importance of “putting people at the heart of treatment”.
An extra £107 million that will ensure more people are able to be cared for safely in their own homes and avoid preventable admissions to hospital is set to transform patient care in Scotland.
The money will be invested into health and social care partnerships which bring together NHS and local council care services for patients, in particular the elderly, and reduce the need for them to go into hospital for treatment.
This new investment means NHS spending on social care and investment will increase to almost half a billion pounds in the coming year, and will go towards delivering our living wage commitment to adult social care workers.
The First Minister discussed the investment during a visit to Midlothian Community Hospital in Bonnyrigg, which she opened in 2011.
It is a community based facility providing intermediate care with a particular focus on frailty and dementia. The First Minister met patients receiving physiotherapy at the purpose-built gym and older people attending a day centre at the hospital.
Speaking earlier, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“Integration is one of the most ambitious programmes of work this Government has ever undertaken and one which we believe will deliver health and social care services that work more efficiently, putting people at the very heart of treatment decisions.
“That is why this £107 million additional funding across Scotland is so important. Not only does it ensure that patients can receive more treatment in their communities where we know they are more comfortable, but it also reduces demand for acute hospital usage by reducing avoidable admissions, lengths of stay and delayed discharges.
“Our social care system is world renowned and envied across the UK and, as a shared priority between the Scottish Government and local government, spend on this has been protected in Scotland. This additional funding maintains that for 2017/18.
“This is in direct contrast to the situation in England and Wales where six consecutive years of cuts to local authority budgets have seen 26 per cent fewer people get the help they need.
“Across Edinburgh and the Lothians, funding for integrated health and social care has now topped £1 billion for next year which yet again enforces this government’s focus on ensuring health care remains a priority for the future.”
Director of Adult Health and Social Care in Midlothian, Eibhlin McHugh said:
“The Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership's vision is that people will lead longer and healthier lives by getting the right advice, care, and support, in the right place, at the right time. We’re delighted to hear of the extra funding as our share of that £107 million will help us achieve those aims.”
Health and social care integration requires close collaboration between secondary, primary and community care through integration authorities. Partnerships are required to plan services for localities and are able to use money flexibly to secure outcomes; so they can move spend from hospital to community and primary services
In our draft budget for 2017/18, an additional £107m will transfer from the NHS to health and social care partnerships, in addition to the £250m transfer added in the 2016/17 budget, which is now baselined.
This is alongside other recurring baseline funding the Scottish Government is providing to partnerships, including an Integrated Care Fund of £100m a year to support delivery of improved outcomes, and £30m a year to reduce delayed discharges.
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