The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 establishes the legal framework for integrating health and social care in Scotland.
The integration of health and social care services will create joined-up and seamless health and social care provision which will help support the Scottish Government's goal of delivering health and social care services that ensure people get the right care, in the right place, at the right time.
The Act requires each Health Board and Local Authority to delegate some of their statutory functions, and associated budgets, to their Integration Authority. The Integration Authority will be responsible for the planning and delivery of the related services using the entire delegated budget ("the integrated budget"); planning across the whole pathway of care to improve outcomes.
Each Health Board and Local Authority must jointly submit an Integration Scheme - the agreement that establishes local integrated arrangements - for Ministerial approval by 1 April 2015. All integrated arrangements must be in place by April 2016.
Regulations and Guidance including advice notes, support the arrangements for integrating health and social care, in order to improve outcomes for patients, service users, carers and their families.
The availability of appropriate good quality housing and housing services has been identified as making an important contribution to improving health and wellbeing outcomes and to the success of integrated health and social care.
Being able to live safely and comfortably at home is important to many older and disabled people who want to live independently and stay in their own home for as long as possible.
Outcome 2 of the National Health and Wellbeing Outcomes acknowledges the important role which housing plays in people's lives:
"People, including those with disabilities, 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."
Successful integration of health and social care services should provide for more people to be cared for and supported at home or in a homely setting. This outcome aims to ensure delivery of community based services, with a focus on prevention and anticipatory care, to mitigate against inappropriate admission to hospital or long term care settings. It recognises that independent living is key to improving health and wellbeing, and responds to Scottish Ministers' commitment to support the reshaping of services to better care for and support the increasing number of people with complex needs in Scotland. To underpin this, the range of Local Authority functions that must be delegated, includes aspects of housing support, aids and adaptions (equipment and adaptions).
Email: Frances Conlan