Planning and delivering integrated health and social care: guidance

Guidance on the planning and delivery principles which describe how integrated care should be planned and delivered and how the principles will work in tandem with the National Health and Wellbeing Outcomes.

This document is part of a collection


The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 sets out the principles which will underpin integrated health and social care. These principles describe “how” integrated care should be planned and delivered. They are intended to work in tandem with the national health and wellbeing outcomes, which describe “what” integrated care is intended to achieve. Building on the priorities outlined in the Christie Commission’s vision for the future of public services, the integration principles set out the expectation of a culture of respect, parity of esteem and genuine engagement in the planning and delivery of person-centred, high quality integrated care.

The principles are intended to be the driving force behind the changes in culture and services required over the coming years to deliver these reforms successfully and improve outcomes. They explain what people using services and their carers can expect from integrated services. They explain the behaviours and priorities expected of organisations and people planning and delivering care and support.

The principles appear in two places in the Act: Section 4 sets out the integration planning principles; Section 31 sets out the integration delivery principles. The wording of the two sections is, to all intents and purposes, the same. This guidance treats the principles as a single set of shared values which, taken together as a whole, will span every activity relating to integrated health and social care.

Who must have regard to these principles?

  • NHS Boards and Local Authorities, when drawing up their integration scheme
  • Integration Authorities, when preparing their strategic plan
  • Any organisation which carries out an integration function (i.e. delivers a service commissioned under the strategic plan)
  • Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the Care Inspectorate, in carrying out scrutiny and improvement functions relating to integrated care

This guidance is split into two sections. First there is an explanation of each short principle in the Act as it relates to people using services. Second, there are a number of challenge question set out for partners, to help them evaluate how well they are embedding the principles in all their activities. This is accompanied by links to resources to help implement the principles in day to day work.


Email: Frances Conlan

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