Social work and health services integrated

All social work services currently delivered by South Ayrshire Council will be included in the new South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership, Councillors have agreed.

The decision means the following services will be included within the remit of the Shadow Health and Social Care Partnership in 2014/15: social work and care services supporting older people; adults with physical disabilities; Adults with Learning Disabilities; adults with Mental Health Problems; Adults with Drug and Alcohol Problems; Adult Protection; Children & Families Social Work Services and Criminal Justice Social Work Services.

Detailed arrangements regarding the timing of the inclusion of certain services over the shadow year have yet to be determined; however, all services will be in place by 1 April 2015, when the new Partnership is formally established.

The aim of the integration of health and social care – which is the result of national legislation – is that it brings services together to deliver co-ordinated care that is easy to access and is focused on the best outcome for the individual person.

In practice, it means NHS and Council staff and those from the third and independent sectors, working with service users, carers and community-based groups to deliver a combined package of care and support that is designed for the individual.

The decision to include all social work services was taken at a full meeting of South Ayrshire Council where members also agreed the Councillors who will serve on the Shadow Integration Board (SIB).

The SIB will assume responsibility for the forward strategic planning of Council and NHS services during the shadow year as well as oversight of the delivery of these services – it will also subsume the responsibilities of the South Ayrshire Community Health Partnership from 1 April this year.

The councillors selected to serve on the SIB are Councillor Bill McIntosh, Councillor Rita Miller, Councillor Hugh Hunter, and Councillor Brian McGinley.

Councillor Hunter said: “This is a really exciting time for health and social care and the decision taken by Council on the social work services to be included in the Partnership move us a big step forward.

“It’s likely that the legislation behind these changes – which is still going through the parliamentary process – will also require some housing support functions to be delegated to the new Partnership. Decisions will be made on this later in the year once we have the required statutory guidance from the Scottish Government.

“This is the start of the transformation of how we deliver health and social care services for local people and communities across South Ayrshire.

“Together with our colleagues in the NHS, third and independent sectors, we will work to ensure we continue to deliver high-quality services that really make a difference and help improve lives.”

The Board of NHS Ayrshire and Arran is expected to formally approve the health services to be included within the three Shadow Health and Care Partnerships in Ayrshire at its meeting on 31 March 2014.