Social care integration in Shire moves a step closer

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The document setting out local governance arrangements for the new Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership has been approved by Aberdeenshire Council and NHS Grampian.

The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 requires all local authorities and health boards to integrate adult community health and social care services by April 2016. It also requires them to submit an “integration scheme” to the Scottish Government setting out the local governance arrangements for the new partnership.

The Integration Scheme was approved at a meeting of Aberdeenshire Council recently following on from NHS Grampian Board approval. The scheme will now be submitted to the Scottish Government.

Aberdeenshire Council and NHS Grampian also agreed that any minor amendments proposed by the Scottish Government can be made by officers in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair of the Transitional Leadership Group.

Once approved by Scottish Ministers the Integration Scheme must be published and will be a legally binding agreement between Aberdeenshire Council and NHS Grampian. It must be reviewed after five years.

A consultation took place on the draft scheme between November and February and included councillors, NHS Grampian Board Members, employees of both organisations, the Third Sector, Trade Unions and the public.

The Partnership is currently holding engagement events in order to develop a local strategic plan. The plan will set out priorities to ensure high quality person centred care is provided and health and wellbeing improvements are achieved in Aberdeenshire.

Chair of Social Work and Housing Committee Cllr Karen Clark said: “The aim of integration is to provide a seamless service for patients and their families.

“Aberdeenshire Council and NHS Grampian already work closely together in a number of areas but the new Partnership will ensure the person is always at the centre of decisions about their care. Agreeing the Integration Scheme is an important step towards creating Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership.”