Joined up health and social services a ‘significant change’

Joining up front-line health and social care services in the Borders has been described as “the most significant change to the public sector in decades”.

From April 2016 GPs, hospitals, health workers, social care staff and others will increasingly work side-by-side to share information and take a more co-ordinated approach to how community health, adult social care, health visiting, dental services, sexual health services and unscheduled care (including out-of-hours) will be delivered in the region.

A new Health and Social Care Integration Board will work with NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council to deliver these services and meet the requirements of the Scottish Government’s Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014, by April 2016. The Integration Board will hold the purse strings for these services, giving it considerable influence on how services will be delivered by NHS Borders and SBC’s social work.

“For too long we have expected individuals, carers and families to negotiate around our different services,” said Susan Manion, chief officer for Integration, at an information evening in Duns this week.

“The intention of this is to make the person at the centre and we wrap our organisations around that person rather than the other way around.”

The region will be divided into five localities and there will be a planning community committee for each, the Berwickshire Planning Community ensuring that services have been designed for people in Berwickshire communities. There will be further public consultation in the spring and summer of this year about how services will be delivered and commissioned,

One thing being promised is that they will no longer be delivered “from the top down for administrative convenience”.