Scotland is facing some radical changes in the way health and social care is delivered. Our plans for the integration of adult health and social care will ultimately improve the outcomes for our most vulnerable citizens by improving the quality, efficiency and financial sustainability of health and social care services.
To achieve these ambitions we must deliver person-centred community based services that will help people to live healthy, independent lives in the way they want, where they want, and when they want.
Intermediate Care and rehabilitative services have a vital role to play in delivering these objectives. In particular, Intermediate Care can help shift the balance of care away from hospital and can reduce the need for alternative, longer-term care services, such as home care, or permanent admission to a care home.
The Third and Independent sectors have a key role to play in the delivery of these interventions. WRVS, for example provide vital services both within our hospitals and the wider community. Everyone will be aware of the WRVS shops within our hospitals, but they do much more than this, such as their home from hospital scheme and befriending services. Third sector organisations can help provide that vital link between the older person and the outside world at a time when they are still recovering from an accident or illness and may feel vulnerable and isolated.
Much is said about the demographic challenges we are facing in relation to older people, and we must be mindful of this as we move forward. However, we should also remember that older people continue to contribute to our society in a variety of ways. Indeed, many third sector services survive due to the dedication and hard work of volunteers, many of whom are older people themselves.
We must nurture and encourage these resources to grow and develop further. By taking a co-production approach to commissioning adult health and social care services we will ensure that a rich and varied community of services can be developed, focused on the best outcomes for the people of Scotland. Intermediate Care services will form a vital part of community services.
I encourage health and social care partnerships to consider the details of this Framework, which I am pleased to say also has the endorsement of the COSLA Health and Wellbeing Executive Group, with a view to further developing Intermediate Care within local areas.
Michael Matheson, MSP
Minister for Public Health
Email: Isla bisset