Local Housing Strategy: guidance 2019

Guidance to support a local authority to prepare a Local Housing Strategy (LHS).

13. Housing, Health & Social Care Integration

13.1 Housing has an important influence on health inequalities in Scotland and can contribute to the achievement of many of the National Health and Wellbeing Outcomes. Health and social care integration, community planning, and community empowerment provide an opportunity for stronger connection between public health and housing. The homes people live in are an important aspect of how they experience place and community, and everyone should have access to an affordable, safe and warm home. In developing a LHS, the Scottish Government encourages local authorities to recognise the contribution that good quality housing, place-making and effective housing related services has on that health improvement, wellbeing, and the reduction of health inequalities.

13.2 The Scottish Government has worked with partners to agree a set of jointly agreed and owned Public Health Priorities for Scotland to focus the whole system on the things which will have the greatest potential to improve healthy life expectancy, reduce inequalities and support sustainable economic growth over the next 10 years. Priority 1 is a Scotland where we live in vibrant, healthy and safe places and communities. This Priority recognises that the places we live, work and play, the connections we have with others and the extent to which we feel able to influence the decisions that affect us – all have a significant impact on our health and wellbeing. The immediate physical environment, the social networks we belong to, the local economy, our workplace and the accessibility of services are all important, Local Authorities are encouraged to consider the Public Health Priorities in the development of their LHS. As outlined in paragraph 5.9, while local authority housing colleagues will engage with existing groups such as the Integration Authorities, they should consider developing or strengthening contact with the local Public Health Teams when developing a LHS.

13.3 Given the impact that housing has on people’s health and wellbeing, the Scottish Public Health Network (ScotPHN) hosted by NHS Health Scotland has published a report Foundations for well-being: Reconnecting Public Health and Housing. This report recommends a number of key practice points for both public health and housing practitioners to take to reduce health inequalities. Local authorities are encouraged to consider the key practice points for both public health and housing practitioners around reducing health inequalities.

13.4 NHS Scotland has produced a Housing Strategies Briefing Paper that aims to highlight opportunities for public health to maximise its contribution to improving health and reducing inequality through housing.

13.5 Further information on the role that good-quality housing can play in improving health and wellbeing and reducing health inequalities is located here.

- Person-Centred, Seamless & Co-ordinated Support & Services

13.6 All action required to provide good quality specialist provision (as outlined in Section 10 ‘Specialist Provision’) should be developed and maintained through collaboration with the relevant Integration Authority.

13.7 Certain functions undertaken by Local Authority Housing Services may have been delegated to Integration Authorities e.g. adaptations or homelessness services. This recognises the vital role played by housing in a whole systems approach to improving people’s health and wellbeing.

13.8 A Housing Advice Note for Integration Authorities, Health Boards and Local Authorities focusses on housing services as an integral part of person-centred approaches and the wider delivery of health and social care integration. It applies especially to the preparation of Integration Authorities’ Strategic Commissioning Plans that must include a Housing Contribution Statement. The Advice Note covers key aspects of joint working arrangements that are required at local level between Integration Authorities and the housing sector and local authorities are encouraged to consider in developing their LHS.

13.9 The LHS should include information on how the local authority’s housing services will work with the Integration Authority to deliver the outcomes in its Strategic Commissioning Plan that will have been informed by a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.

- Housing Contribution Statement

13.10 Each Integration Authority should have in place a Housing Contribution Statement (HCS) as this is an integral part of the Strategic Commissioning Plan (SCP) and sets out how the integrated authority intends to work with housing services, whether delegated or not, to deliver its outcomes. The HCS should be developed by the Integration Authority in collaboration with the local authority’s housing and social work departments. It will set out the role and contribution of the local housing sector in meeting the outcomes and priorities identified within the Strategic Commissioning Plan. Guidance for drafting a HCS is available in the Housing Advice Note. The HCS should be seen as a bridge between the LHS and the SCP.

13.11 The LHS should include a summary of the shared outcomes and priorities contained within the HCS, with a web link to the document itself.

13.12 The LHS should clarify what support services have been delegated to the Integration Authority to deliver and which are the responsibility of the local authority.

Areas that the Scottish Government would expect to see addressed in each LHS:

a) A short summary around how the local authority’s housing services are currently collaborating and will collaborate in future with the Integration Authority to deliver the outcomes in its Strategic Commissioning Plan together with a summary of the shared outcomes and priorities from the Housing Contribution Statement.

b) A short summary on which support services have been delegated to the Integration Authority to deliver and which are the responsibility of the local authority.


Email: lisa.bullen@gov.scot

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