Work to implement a new Health and Social Care partnership in the Borders from April 2016 reached a key milestone today (Monday 22 December 2014) as Scottish Borders Council and NHS Borders launch the first formal stage of consultation on what the behind-the-scenes arrangements between the two agencies might look like.

Integration of health and social care is the Scottish Government's ambitious programme of reform to improve services for people who use health and social care services. Underpinned by the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014, it 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, many of whom are older people.

This means from April 2016, the partnership between NHS Borders and SBC will bring together:

  • All community health services
  • Adult social care services
  • Health visiting
  • Community dental services
  • Sexual health services
  • Unscheduled care

In the Borders from 1 April 2016, the Council and the NHS Borders will delegate responsibilities to a joint legal body called the ‘Integrated Joint Board’. In the meantime, a Shadow Integration Board has been created to oversee the work. This Board is chaired by Councillor Catriona Bhatia, SBC’s Executive Member for Health Service.

Councillor Bhatia explained: “Integration will see NHS, SBC and the voluntary and independent care partners, work as one to deliver services which meet the needs of Borderers. 

“Both NHS and SBC are facing significant challenges in terms of resources and there is no denying that we can’t continue to provide services as we do now. Through Integration, we need to find the most effective way of delivering services that make the best use of resources, abilities and skills we have. By working in partnership, it will provide a better, more joined up service for the people we care for.”

As part of the requirements laid down in the Act, two key areas of work need to take place to implement the Integrated body. The first is the ‘Scheme of Integration’ which outlines how the agencies will work together. The second is the ‘Strategic Commissioning Plan’ – which will outline how services will be delivered and commissioned.

Susan Manion, Chief Officer for Integration explained: “We are currently seeking views on the first piece of work which is the ‘Scheme of Integration’. This addresses a range of technical issues such as proposed delegated functions, clinical and care governance arrangements, financial/workforce management and operational arrangements.  A further consultation on how services will be delivered and commissioned under the new arrangements will take place after April 2015.

“This is the first opportunity for people to formally engage with us on how NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council will work together to deliver a new health and social care partnership for the Borders.

“As part of this, it is vitally important that we involve people at the very start of our plans to bring services together. This is why we are encouraging those who have in interest in the delivery and receipt of care to give us their views on this document.”

All identified stakeholders are being given access to a copy of the document for feedback today. This includes NHS and SBC employees, carers, third/independent sector providers, providers of social housing and recognised representative bodies. Patients, service users and members of the general public are also invited to give their feedback.

The consultation is open from Monday 22 December 2014 until Friday 13 March 2015. Feedback received from the consultation will be considered prior to the document being revised and submitted to the Scottish Government at the end of March 2015.  Following this, a consultation on the Strategic Commissioning Plan which outlines how services will be delivered and commissioned will be launched.

For further information and to submit your views on the draft Scheme of Integration visit our Integration page

You can also email integration@scotborders.gov.uk to give your views or ask for more information.

To request hard copies of the document please phone 01896 828294 or email joanne.weir@borders.scot.nhs.uk