Health and social care - strategic plans: statutory guidance

Statutory guidance, focused on integration authority strategic plans, which supports the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) 2014 Act.

3. Background

The 2014 Act was preceded by The Commission on the Future of Public Services, ‘the Christie Commission’, in 2011, which set out the need for greater collaboration, integration and partnership in delivering public services in order to maximise resources and improve outcomes for the people of Scotland.

The Scottish Government’s response to the Christie Commission set out four pillars of public service reform, including a shift towards prevention, greater integration of public services, enhanced workforce and leadership development, and improving performance through transparency, innovation and digital technology.

Within this broader context, characterised by a desire for improved public services developed through closer collaboration, the 2014 Act placed a duty on integration authorities to develop a ‘strategic plan’ for integrated functions under their control. Each integration authority must therefore produce a strategic plan that sets out how they will commission and deliver services for their area over the medium term.

Under the 2014 Act, stakeholders must be fully engaged in the preparation, publication and review of the strategic plan, in order to establish a meaningful co-productive approach, to enable integration authorities to deliver the national outcomes for health and wellbeing, and achieve the core aims of integration:

  • to improve the quality and consistency of services for patients, carers, people who use services and their families
  • to provide seamless, integrated, quality health and social care services in order to care for people in their homes, or a homely setting, where it is safe to do so
  • to ensure resources are used effectively and efficiently to deliver services that meet the needs of the increasing number of people with long term conditions and often complex needs, many of whom are older

By developing strategic plans, integration authorities are to design and commission services collaboratively with their partners. This supports awareness of other local commissioning activity, and ensures these processes are mutually reinforcing and add value. Strategic plans should incorporate the important role of informal, community capacity building and asset based approaches, to deliver effective preventative and anticipatory interventions, in order to optimise the potential to reduce unnecessary demand at the 'front door' of the formal health, social care and social work system.



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