1. Who will be on the Board and how are they accountable?
There will be equal representation on the Board of Councillors and NHS Non-Executive Directors (5 each) as well as non-voting professionals from both organisations to provide support and advice. Services will be accountable locally.
2. Will there be a system for sharing patient information between the two organisations?
The Council and NHS Borders currently use systems that have limited compatibility and there are data protection regulations around what information can be shared. We are looking at how we can make our information systems available to each other. This is not just a local problem and a national solution may be required.
3. Will there be any additional staff or financial resources available?
No. The aim of the legislation is to ensure that our existing resources are used more effectively. There will be no additional staff and existing staff will continue to be employed by their current employers (i.e. Scottish Borders Council or NHS Borders), retaining their current terms and conditions. A key challenge will be for us to determine how our existing resources are managed more efficiently and effectively and any duplication reduced.
4. What is the Strategic Planning Group?
It will support the Integration Joint Board in the development, monitoring and renewal of the Strategic Plan. The Strategic Planning Group will be made up of 18 members with representation from staff, carers, users, Third & Independent Sectors and politicians. Members will come from across the Borders to make sure that the different areas are represented.
5. Are GPs involved with Integration?
Yes. GPs will have a major involvement in our Integration arrangements and will be represented on the Strategic Planning Group. Although GP targets and contracts are agreed by the Scottish Government, workloads are agreed locally. We are all interested in the same thing i.e. caring for individuals.
6. How will the public find out what is happening with Health & Social Care Integration?
We will take time to communicate about the changes and make sure this happens at the right time. There will be events between April and June as we work towards the draft Strategic Plan and then again between July and September to make sure that local people are involved and local information and views are being fed in.
7. Can all the necessary changes be made before next April?
Integration is about doing things in a different way. By April 2016 we will have a three year Strategic Plan which maps out how we will progress towards the delivery of integrated services. Not everything will happen at the same time on 1st April 2016.
8. Is the list of services to be delivered by the Partnership mandatory? How will it work with regards to children?
All services specified in the act as mandatory are included as well as health visiting.
While the focus is on the integration of adult health and social care services, some are also delivered to children. Children's services will be included when the Partnership is planning the services it has responsibility for. Day to day working with children will need to be taken into account.
9. How will the Third Sector be involved in Integration?
The Third Sector is a key partner in planning, reviewing and delivering services; the Statutory Sector can't do it all. Third Sector involvement needs to be maximised. There will be a Third Sector representative on the Strategic Planning Group and the Integrated Joint Board.
10. What will the relationship between the Integrated Joint Board, Scottish Borders Council and NHS Borders be?
We will need to work together in partnership. The Scheme of Integration (currently in draft form) sets out how the relationship will work in some detail. If a service model is not working it will need to be highlighted and we will work together to plan different ways of delivering the service. The Integrated Joint Board will consist of members from both organisations.
11. Will there be a pilot area to test ways of working and determine the correct model for rolling out across the Borders?
There are opportunities to test new ways of delivering care before rolling it out across the area. However, what suits one area will not always suit another area; it is important to look at local solutions. Equally, there will be systems that will be the same across areas. There is an element of flexibility and things will continue to change and adapt.
12. How will Self Directed Support affect Integration?
Self-Directed Support could end up making big changes and impact on how services are planned and delivered. We need to keep reviewing what we are doing to make sure that services are doing what we want and need them to.
13. What if Scottish Borders Council and NHS Borders are unable to agree on budgets?
There is a willingness from both organisations to make this work and reviews will happen on an annual basis. In the unlikely event of a dispute there is an agreed resolution approach set out in our Scheme of Integration involving the Scottish Government.
14. Will there be any problems moving money from Scottish Borders Council to NHS Borders and vice versa?
The Scottish Government will advise on how to deal with the financial allocations to services. We need to be transparent when developing our Financial Plan to make sure the righth resources are allocated to the appropriate services.