Section 1: Role and Responsibilities of the Integration Joint Board
1.1 Role and remit of the Integration Joint Board
The Act puts in place arrangements for integrating health and social care, in order to improve outcomes for patients, service users, carers and their families. The Act requires Health Boards and Local Authorities to work together effectively to agree a model of integration to deliver quality, sustainable care services. Where a Health Board and a Local Authority agree to put in place a Body Corporate model, an Integration Joint Board will be established. This will see Health Boards and Local Authorities delegate a significant number of functions and resource to the Integration Joint Board, who will be responsible for the planning of integrated arrangements and onward service delivery.
The Health Board and Local Authority will set out within their integration scheme which of their functions they intend to delegate to the Integration Joint Board. The scope of the delegated functions will vary depending on local decision making but must adhere to the statutory minimum.
The functions that must be delegated by the Health Board to the Integration Joint Board as per the Act are set out in The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Prescribed Health Board Functions) (Scotland) Regulations 2014.
The functions that must be delegated by the Local Authority to the Integration Joint Board as per the Act are set out in The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Prescribed Local Authority Functions etc.) (Scotland) Regulations 2014.
The Integration Joint Board is responsible for the strategic planning of the functions delegated to it and for ensuring the delivery of those functions through the directions issued by it under section 25 of the Act. The Integration Joint Board will also have an operational role as described in the locally agreed operational arrangements set out within their integration scheme.
To fulfil its remit the Integration Joint Board will:
- Adhere to the content of any future regulations or guidance issued by Scottish Ministers
- Ensure stakeholder engagement
- Take into consideration national developments in policy and practice
1.2 Duties placed on Integration Joint Boards by the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014
- The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014, "the Act", places a duty on Integration Joint Boards to develop a strategic plan for integrated functions and budgets. For more information, please see the guidance on Strategic Commissioning Plans.
- Each Integration Joint Board must establish a strategic planning group to support the strategic planning process. For more information, see section 1.5 of this guidance.
- An Integration Joint Board must review its strategic plan at least every three years.
- Sections 4 and 31 of the Act set out the integration principles which underpin delivery of integrated health and social care services. These principles describe "how" integrated care should be planned and delivered. Integration Joint Boards are under a duty to have regard to these principles when preparing a strategic plan. For more information, please see the guidance on the Integration Planning and Delivery Principles.
- Section 37 of the Act places Integration Joint Boards under a duty to have regard to the National Health and Wellbeing Outcomes (the Outcomes) when preparing a strategic plan. These Outcomes are high-level statements of what Integration Joint Boards are attempting to achieve through integration and ultimately through the pursuit of quality improvement across health and social care.
- Integration Joint Boards are required to issue directions to Health Boards and Local Authorities as to how integration functions are to be carried out. Details relating to this are set out in sections 26 and 27 of the Act.
- Integration Joint Boards are required to prepare an annual performance report. This must comply with the requirements of the Regulations on the Content of Performance Reports.
- An annual financial statement must be published setting out the total resources included in the plan for that year. For more guidance, please see the Professional Guidance, Advice and Recommendations for Integration Arrangements.
- A full list of guidance and advice published to support the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014, is available at http://www.gov.scot/HSCI.
1.3 Other key requirements of the Integration Joint Board
Integration Joint Boards are public bodies, and as such are subject to a range of other requirements. An Integration Joint Board must ensure that arrangements are established to comply with their duties as set out in legislation. Although the responsibility of compliance sits with an Integration Joint Board; Integration Joint Boards may choose to draw on the experience of and/or request support from their constituent Health Board and/or Local Authority to aid it in complying with the legislative requirements set out below. In such circumstances the Health Board and/or Local Authority would be expected to provide the support requested.
The Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011
Integration Joint Boards are designated as "Bodies Corporate" for the purposes of the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011. They will be obliged, therefore, to comply fully as public authorities under the legislation.
The Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 requires named public authorities to prepare and implement a records management plan which sets out proper arrangements for the management of their records. Records management plans must be agreed with the Keeper of the Records of Scotland (the Keeper) and regularly reviewed by authorities. The plan must account for all the public records for which the authority has responsibility.
The plan must detail the functions of each authority and the types of records created in pursuance of these functions. It will show the policies and procedures in place for the appropriate storage, retention, disposal, archiving and security of these records.
To assist public authorities to comply with their obligations, the Keeper has produced a model plan in the form of an annotated list of the elements that might be expected to be covered in a robust records management plan. In addition the Keeper has produced guidance that accompanies the model plan.
A Senior Officer of the Integration Joint Board will therefore be responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the records management plan and for approving it prior to submission for the Keeper's agreement.
Further details on the National Records of Scotland and the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 Assessment Team and support they provide can be found on their website.
It will be necessary for an Integration Joint Board to consider how Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 / Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 obligations impact on its records management practices, including how information is stored. The Code of Practice on Records Management sets out recommended 'best practice'.
The records management plan will need to be clearly set out if information is held by the Integration Joint Board or the information held is owned by the Integration Joint Board or held 'on behalf of' the relevant Local Authority or Health Board. If a request is sent to an Integration Joint Board for information it holds 'on behalf of' the Local Authority or Health Board, the applicant should be informed by the Integration Joint Board that it does not hold the information and they should then be directed to the relevant Local Authority or Health Board.
Integration Joint Boards, Health Boards and Local Authorities may also wish to consider putting systems in place, for example, Memoranda of Understanding, to support effective handling of requests where the scope of which includes communications between the bodies, or information on topics of shared interest/joint working.
Health Boards and Local Authorities will continue to be responsible for answering data access requests in relation to any data for which they are the Data Controller, however, for requests in relation to any data that Integration Joint Boards are responsible they will be responsible for answering any data access request.
Data (Subject) Access Requests
Data Access Requests (called Subject Access Requests under the Data Protection Act 1998) are requests by individuals for their personal data and work on the basis of whichever body is the Data Controller.
It is possible for the same data to be held by more than one public authority as a result of agreed sharing. Integration Joint Boards must ensure that data sharing arrangements set out in the integration scheme are in place and that it is clear how subject access requests are managed by both parties when shared data is involved.
Further information on Subject Access Requests can be found in the Subject Access Requests Code of Practice.
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 - and the related Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 - provide any applicant with the right to request - and be provided with - any recorded information held by Scotland's public authorities. If an authority does not wish to provide information it holds, an 'exemption' or (under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004) an 'exception' must be applied, for example, for legal advice or personal data.
Integration Joint Boards are a "public authority" for the purpose of Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. This means they are subject to both Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and the related Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004, as well as other requirements of Freedom of Information legislation, and will be required to respond to information requests accordingly.
Integration Joint Boards should be aware of their responsibilities under this Code of Practice which sets out recommended guidance in the handling of information requests.
As Health Boards and Local Authorities are already subject to information access legislation, Integration Joint Board members are likely to already have an awareness of the requirements that Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and the related Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 place on officials and organisations.
While, in due course, Integration Joint Boards may wish to develop their own guidance and training, it is suggested that members may initially wish to familiarise themselves with existing guidance and training. For example, the Scottish Government guidance and training on information request handling.
Section 23 of Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 also requires that all Scottish public authorities subject to the Act maintain a publication scheme. A publication scheme sets out the types of information that a public authority routinely makes available. The Integration Joint Board will need to develop and put in place a publication scheme, along with a guide setting out what information it will make available.
It is important that consideration is given to the publication scheme - and associated guides to information - as early as possible. A publication scheme must be approved by the Scottish Information Commissioner. Information on publication schemes is available on the Commissioner's website.
Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner (OSIC)
The Scottish Information Commissioner promotes and enforces both the public's right to ask for information held by Scottish public authorities and good practice by authorities.
The Commissioner's staff have considerable experience in assisting authorities who are new to the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 / Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 responsibilities and will be pleased to help. They can be contacted on 01334 464610, or by email to email@example.com.
Ethical Standards in Public Life - Code of Conduct
Integration Joint Boards are "devolved public bodies" for the purposes of the Ethical Standards in Public Life (Scotland) Act. This means that each Integration Joint Board is required to produce a code of conduct for members. The code should be based on the model code of conduct for members of devolved public bodies.
Each Integration Joint Board is required to review this model code and adopt it, with or without modifications, as its own code of conduct; applying to all members and business of the Integration Joint Board. All members are required to sign the code of conduct. Some members may have already signed similar codes of conduct i.e. Code of Conduct for Councillors; however they are still required to sign the Integration Joint Board's code of conduct as their duties as Integration Joint Board members should be independent of the responsibilities that they may have by virtue of other posts.
The Standards Commission is an independent public body which encourages high ethical standards in public life through the promotion and enforcement of Codes of Conduct for those appointed to the Boards of devolved public bodies.
The Commissioner is an independent office holder who works in two areas:
Public appointments, regulating how people are appointed to the Boards of public bodies in Scotland; and
Public standards, where the Commissioner can investigate a complaint about a Councillor or a member of a devolved public body who is alleged to have contravened the Councillors' or the appropriate public body's Code of Conduct. It is in this capacity that the Integration Joint Board would be under the remit of the Commissioner.
All public authorities in Scotland, including Integration Joint Boards, must comply with the public sector equality duty set out in the Equality Act 2010. The duty places an obligation on public authorities to take action to eradicate discrimination and to pro-actively promote equality of opportunity.
To better enable public authorities to locate equality data and evidence, the Scottish Government has developed an evidence finder.
The Scottish Government has also produced an evidence toolkit to help authorities source supporting evidence to help with their Scottish specific reporting duties.
The Scottish Government expects all public bodies to champion diversity and mainstream equal opportunities in their work. Scottish Ministers particularly welcome under-represented groups having membership on Scotland's public bodies. The Scottish Government's Programme for Government encourages public bodies to set a voluntary commitment for gender balance on their Boards of 50/50 by 2020, with the aim of ensuring that Boards of public bodies are broadly reflective of the wider Scottish population. The Scottish Government has already committed to achieving gender balance on its Board by 2020. Public bodies, including Integration Joint Boards, are expected to take positive action to support and enable greater diversity in the membership of and appointment to their Board.
1.4 Liability arrangements for Integration Joint Boards and their members
Integration Joint Boards are eligible to join the Clinical Negligence and Other Risks Indemnity Scheme (CNORIS) which covers the following areas of liability:
- Clinical Negligence
- Employers Liability
- Public Liability
- Personal Injury, Loss, Damage to Property or other Wrongful Act
- Dishonest, Fraudulent, Criminal or Malicious Activities
- Directors and Officers Liability
- Consequential or Ancillary Expense
- Financial Loss Suffered by Member as a result Fraud/Dishonesty/Theft
The National Health Service (Clinical Negligence and Other Risks Indemnity Scheme) (Scotland) Regulations 2000 (as amended) makes provision for Integration Joint Boards to apply to become a member of CNORIS. Membership is not compulsory, but represents a cost-effective alternative to arranging separate insurance. If an Integration Joint Board decides to become a member of CNORIS then they will be indemnified as above.
If an Integration Joint Board decides not to become a member of CNORIS then it will be necessary to ensure alternative arrangements are put in place to cover the Integration Joint Board and its members against any claims arising in relation to liabilities listed above.
The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 places a requirement on Integration Joint Boards to create a strategic plan for the area for which it is established. As part of this process, the Integration Joint Board must establish a strategic planning group. The Integration Joint Board must also determine the processes and procedures for the strategic planning group, subject to the provisions set out in section 32 of the Act.
In developing the processes and procedures for the strategic planning group, the Integration Joint Board must be mindful that the work of the strategic planning group does not end with the publication of the strategic plan.
After the strategic plan is published, the strategic planning group will continue to review progress of the plan, measured against the statutory outcomes for health and wellbeing, and associated indicators. Strong lines of communication will need to be established between the strategic planning group and the Integration Joint Board. This is needed to ensure that the strategic planning group can effectively communicate its findings to the Integration Joint Board which will help to inform and facilitate revisions to the strategic plan at least every three years.
A detailed explanation of the process for the development of the strategic plan can be found in the Strategic Commissioning Plan Guidance.
1.6 Appointing a Committee of an Integration Joint Board
Integration Joint Boards can appoint sub-committees should that be desirable. The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Integration Joint Boards) (Scotland) Order 2014 extends the options available to an Integration Joint Board in effectively planning for the provision of services by permitting an Integration Joint Board to form a committee to carry out any of its functions as it sees fit. Any decision of such a committee must be agreed by the majority of the voting members who are members of the committee.
A committee of an Integration Joint Board can only exercise the functions conferred upon it by the Integration Joint Board. The purpose of the committee is to support the effective working of the Integration Joint Board on matters which have been devolved to it by the Integration Joint Board. This may be in an advisory capacity or, depending on the remit given by the Integration Joint Board, the committee may have decision making powers to carry out certain functions of the Integration Joint Board. In the interests of fairness and effective working, a committee of an Integration Joint Board must consist of equal numbers of representatives from each constituent authority, as set out in the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Integration Joint Boards) (Scotland) Order 2014 (article 17(3)).
An Integration Joint Board can appoint advisory members to sit on a committee from outside the membership of the Integration Joint Board, although, as before, any such decision must be agreed on by the voting members of the Integration Joint Board.
1.7 Complaints under Integration
Complaints about Integrated services
Where a Health Board and Local Authority choose a body corporate model of integration, the Health Board and Local Authority will remain the responsible bodies for the delivery of health and social care services. As such any complaints about service delivery will be dealt with through the existing health procedures and social care/social work complaints procedures.
To ensure complaints are joined up from the perspective of the complainants, Health Boards and Local Authorities are required to agree and set out within their integration schemes arrangements for the management of complaints relating to integrated service delivery and the process by which a service user, and those complaining on behalf of service users may make a complaint. The arrangements set out in the integration scheme cannot alter the underlying position, described above, that complaints are to be dealt with under existing health procedures and social care/social work complaints procedures.
The Health Board and Local Authority must ensure that the arrangements that they have jointly agreed are:
- Clearly explained
- Allow for timely recourse
- Complainants are signposted to independent advocacy services
Complaints about Integration Joint Boards
As Integration Joint Boards are newly formed public bodies complaints may be raised against them in relation to particular functions and duties that they have responsibility for, such as strategic planning.
Integration Joint Boards are not currently covered under existing legislation and must put in place a robust complaints procedure in relation to the functions that have been delegated to them.
The Scottish Government position is that in establishing a complaints procedure; Integration Joint Boards should implement a complaints handling procedure that follows the structure, principles and timescales set out in the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman’s (SPSO) Model Complaints Handling Procedure Guidance.
The SPSO’s Model Complaints Handling Procedure Guidance recognises that each public service provider has their own way of working and has unique staffing and operational considerations, and therefore provides broad direction and support to in improving their complaints handling procedures; by setting out the high level components of an effective complaints handling procedure with a focus on simplifying and streamlining those procedures. It places an emphasis on ‘getting it right first time’ and is firmly focused on quicker, simpler and more streamlined complaints handling with local, early resolution by empowered and well trained staff.
The SPSO model complaints procedure is a 3 stage complaint process: the first stage is front-line resolution – failure to resolve a complaint at this stage will result in the complaint being escalated; at the second stage, the complaint is investigated and an attempt made by a senior manager to resolve it. The third and final stage of the process is for the complaint to be referred to the SPSO for a final decision.
The Scottish Government intends to amend schedule 2 of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Act to include Integration Joint Boards and will consult on the proposal to do so.
This proposed change will have the effect of legally requiring Integration Joint Boards to put in place a complaints procedure and it will provide the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman with the powers to investigate the actions of the Integration Joint Boards in carrying out its duties, or any service failure attributable to an Integration Joint Board. It cannot, however, investigate the merits of a decision taken within the Integration Joint Board’s discretion, unless the established processes have not been followed in making that decision.
Under Section 53 of the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014, Integration Joint Boards are required to have regard to the guidance issued by Scottish Ministers. Integration Joint Boards therefore must implement a complaints process that follows the structure, principles and timescales of the SPSO model complaints procedure outlined above. Compliance with the third and final stage of the SPSO model complaints procedure will take effect once legislative changes have come into force.
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