Working in partnership with scrutiny bodies: advice note

This advice note summarises the powers and responsibilities of our respective health and social care scrutiny bodies and sets out the rationale for how Integration Authorities can work jointly with these organisations.

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2. Background

2.1 Health and social care integration is a significant programme of reform. Given the scale of the changes and the relevance to a number of scrutiny bodies, Audit Scotland, the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland have worked together to develop a flexible and responsive scrutiny approach that can evolve to reflect the developing nature of this complex programme of change. Underpinning this are a series of short, medium and longer-term factors that scrutiny bodies will consider as part of their work on integration:

  • Short term: Initial scrutiny work during 2015/16 will focus on establishing a baseline position on local progress in establishing health and social care integration arrangements. This will draw on the local audit and inspection work that the Care Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Audit Scotland will be undertaking as part of their core responsibilities which is set out later in this paper.
  • Medium-term: When an Integration Authority has implemented their strategic plan for a period of at least a year, it will report on its performance in relation to planning and carrying out the integration functions (including financial performance; performance against national outcomes and delivery of Best Value). At this point the Care Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Audit Scotland will work together to jointly assess the progress that has been made in establishing joint strategic commissioning arrangements and the early impact of the implementation of integration of health and social care. This audit work will not begin until April 2017 at the earliest. Other joint strategic inspection by the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland will continue to develop from the current position as stated.
  • Longer-term impact: Although it will be important to monitor the impact of health and social care integration on an on-going basis, given the scale and significance of the changes that the integration agenda is seeking to achieve, there will also be a need to review its longer-term impact once partners have embedded the integrated approach. This longer-term piece of work would assess whether health and social care integration has delivered its policy intention of better integrated public services and improved outcomes for service users. It would be premature to assess these longer-term impacts in the first two years of the new arrangements.

2.2 The nature of the specific work that will be undertaken, and its timing, will be kept under review as health and social care integration develops. Consultation with key stakeholders will inform the approach taken to the work.



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