Health and social care integration

In 2016 we legislated to bring together health and social care in to a single, integrated system.

The legislation created 31 integration authorities who are now responsible for £8.5 billion of funding for local services. These services were previously managed separately by NHS Boards and local authorities.

Integration is the most significant change to health and social care services in Scotland since the creation of the NHS in 1948. Integration aims to improve care and support for people who use services, their carers and their families. It does this by putting a greater emphasis on joining up services and focussing on anticipatory and preventative care. 

We have produced a list of the 31 integration authorities and their chief officers.

These authorities are required to work with their local communities and providers of care to ensure care is responsive to people’s needs.

Our overall package of additional direct investment in social care and integration totals over £700 million in 2019 to 2020.

We published a joint progress report with COSLA on the integration of health and social care in February 2019.

We have provided statutory guidance on health and social care integration.

Background information about the development of integration is available in our website archive.

We have written a blog on health and social care integration activity.

National health and wellbeing outcomes

The National Health and Wellbeing Outcomes 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.

We published our guidance framework on the national health and wellbeing outcomes in February 2015. We also published a suite of indicators used to measure progress in April 2015.

By working with individuals and local communities, integration authorities will support people to achieve the following outcomes:

  • people are able to look after and improve their own health and wellbeing and live in good health for longer
  • 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
  • people who use health and social care services have positive experiences of those services, and have their dignity respected
  • health and social care services are centred on helping to maintain or improve the quality of life of people who use those services
  • health and social care services contribute to reducing health inequalities
  • 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 wellbeing
  • people using health and social care services are safe from harm
  • 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
  • resources are used effectively and efficiently in the provision of health and social care