NHS Highland and Argyll and Bute Council will set up a Health and Social Care Partnership to deliver integrated health and social care services in Argyll and Bute.
NHS Highland Board endorsed a joint report from Argyll and Bute Council and NHS Highland setting out key recommendations for planning and delivering integrated services as required by the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill which comes into force on 1 April 2015. The Council agreed it at its meeting on 20 March.
The Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) will have a budget pooled from both the NHS and Council and will be accountable to both organisations. The services it will be responsible for delivering will be identified by a shadow integration board, and agreed by the NHS Board and Argyll and Bute Council.
This ‘body corporate’ model of the HSCP means that staff who work for NHS Highland will remain NHS employees and council staff will remain council employees.
The shadow Integration Board will include representatives of both organisations and will prepare an integration plan for approval by the Scottish Government. A Chief Officer for health and social care will also be jointly recruited.
Both organisations have also agreed that a comprehensive communication and engagement strategy will be put in place to ensure there is robust engagement with local communities and the wide range of stakeholders involved in health and social care throughout 2014/15.
Commenting on the endorsement of the plans by the Board Elaine Mead, Chief Executive of NHS Highland, said, “I am confident that we will make integration work well in Argyll and Bute. We already have a strong track record of collaboration with the Council and this move will further strengthen our joint working, and provide dedicated local care to the people of Argyll and Bute.
Sally Loudon, Chief Executive of Argyll and Bute Council, added, “Our focus is on delivering services that will meet the changing needs of our communities now and into the future, and builds on the significant strengths of our existing partnership working. This is an important step forward in delivering the highest possible quality of services for people in Argyll and Bute.”
A full copy of the paper is available on request or can be accessed by the following link - http://tinyurl.com/p769td3