The integration of health and social care is the Scottish Government’s programme of reform to improve services for people who use health and social care services. Integration aims to ensure that health and social care provision across Scotland is joined-up and seamless, especially for people with long term conditions and disabilities.
The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act
The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act has been passed by Scottish Parliament and received royal assent on 1 April 2014, this completes the legislative process. This will be accompanied by statutory guidance and regulations soon. It is expected that integration boards will be fully operational from April 2015 – The Scottish Government has published the following timeline for implementation of health and social care integration.
|Royal Assent||April 2014|
|Consultation of Regulations||May 2014 – Aug 2014|
|Development of associated guidance||Aug 2014 – Dec 2014|
|Regulations complete||Late 2014|
|Integration goes live locally||April 2015|
|All integration arrangements must be in place||April 2016|
For more information about the Act and its implementation, visit the Scottish Government website.
In 2011, the First Minister invited Campbell Christie to chair a Commission into the future delivery of public services in Scotland. The outcomes of this commission focused on public service reform, prioritising prevention, reducing inequalities and promoting equality, cross-sectoral working to achieve better outcomes and building services around people and communities. Since then, the Scottish Government has consistently stated its determination to deliver an ambitious public services reform programme, putting citizens and communities at the centre.
The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill was introduced to Scottish Parliament on 28 May 2013. The publication of this Bill followed a period of consultation on proposals to deliver better outcomes for people through integrated health and social care.
The Bill provides a framework for partners to plan and deliver integrated health and social care services for adults. Background information on the Bill and its passage through Scottish Parliament can be found on both the Scottish Parliament page and the Health and Sport Committee page.
Through the passage of this Bill, we have worked with our members, other voluntary sector organisations, Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament to help build voluntary health organisations’ influence and contribution to the positive transformation of public services. We have promoted and supported our members’ views in trying to shape this legislation and will continue to do so during future consultation of regulations and guidance documents.
Examples of VHS activities can be seen below:
- In May 2013, we produced summaries of the Bill and its associated paperwork for members
- In July 2013, we held an event on Health and social care in transition to discuss the wider health and social care agenda and present the Bill to members
- In July 2013, we held a Sounding Board for members to help shape our response to the Health and Sport Committee’s call for evidence on the principles as presented in the Bill
- In August 2013, we produced and submitted evidence to the Health and Sport Committee that reflects our members needs and priorities
- In August 2013, Voluntary Health Scotland’s Policy and Engagement Officer wrote an article for Third Force News examining the Bill and its implications
- In September 2013, we attended consultation events to contribute to the development of National Outcomes as referred to in the Bill, and delivered a presentation on the Bill to the Senscot Health Social Enterprise Network. Click here for more information.
- In October and November 2013, we worked in partnership with a number of third sector organisations to deliver two engagement events for members with Alex Neil MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing.
- During October 2013, we worked in collaboration with other third sector intermediaries to influence second stage amendments to the Bill to ensure our member’s views and priorities are reflected in the Bill and secondary legislation. In November 2013, we produced a briefing for members on this collaborative work – Public Bodies Joint Working Bill Update for VHS members – 12 11 13
- On 18 November the Health and Sport Committee published its Stage 1 report – you can access the report here. On 22 November, we sent the following briefing to MSPs to help inform the Stage 1 Debate on 26 November 2013 – VHS Briefing for Stage 1 Debate – Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill. The ALLIANCE also send the proposed amendments to MSPs at this time – Proposed Amendments – Public Bodies Joint Working Bill (Stage 2)