Health and Social Care Integration Joint Statement

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and NHS Western Isles have confirmed a model for health and social care integration has been agreed.

At a meeting of the Comhairle yesterday (Wednesday) the Comhairle reaffirmed its support for the Body Corporate model.

And at Wednesday’s Health Board meeting, held in Tarbert, members considered health and social care integration and the way ahead in terms of a jointly-approved model, by which to deliver services.

Health Board members had, in December 2013, approved the Lead Agency model as the preferred model, but were clear at that time that both models – the Lead Agency model and Body Corporate model – could work effectively to the benefit of patients and clients in the Western Isles.

Whilst the Board’s preferred model was agreed as Lead Agency, the Comhairle has maintained a preference for the Body Corporate model.

Given that the default position is the Body Corporate model, the Health Board, in the interests of making progress for patients, clients and carers, has taken the decision to approve and fully support the establishment of a Body Corporate in the Western Isles.

The Health Board and Comhairle are committed to working in partnership to ensure that the integrated service brings about demonstrable improvements to patients and clients in the shortest possible timeframe.

The focus for both organisations will be to focus resources on direct patient and client care and services, with minimal resources being invested into structures and systems.

A significant amount of well-established and successful joint working already takes place between front line staff of the Health Board and the Comhairle, and both organisations look forward to building on and continuing to develop ways that joint working can improve services and outcomes for patients and clients.

Next steps, in terms of Health and Social Care Integration, will be to proceed with the detailed work that will be required to develop an integration scheme, which will be presented to the Health Board and Comhairle for approval in December 2014.

A number of workstreams will also be established to ensure the successful implementation of the Western Isles model.