The launch of Fife’s new Health and Social Care Partnership was officially marked at a conference held today (Wednesday 3 February).
The Fife Health & Social Care Partnership has been created by Fife Council and NHS Fife as part of the Scottish Government’s ambitious programme of reform 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.
Across Scotland, all local authorities and health boards must have their Partnerships formed by 1 April 2016. Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, Shona Robison MSP gave a key note speech to mark Fife’s progression:
Ms Robison said: “The integration of health and social care services will be one of the biggest reforms since the creation of the NHS in 1948. The old boundary between NHS and local government spending – the boundary that has hindered so many attempts to improve care over decades – will cease to exist.
“Joining up health and social care will mean people can be supported to live their lives as independently as possible, in their own homes. It will allow partnerships to take forward new ways of delivering services based on the principle that hospitals are there to treat people and that recovery is best achieved at home.
“We are investing over half a billion pounds towards making integration a success and have confirmed in our 2016/17 draft budget for Scotland plans to invest a further £250 million through health and social care partnership to protect and grow services.
“Today is a significant milestone in Fife’s journey towards integration. I want to thank all those who have been involved in making the Partnership in Fife a reality, and look forward to working with everyone to realise the potential that integration has to offer.”
Sandy Riddell, Director of Health and Social Care, said: “Fife is one of Scotland’s largest Partnerships with over 5000 staff providing a range of universal and specialist services that will touch the lives of everybody across the Kingdom. Today’s conference heralds a significant milestone in our journey and recognises the history of ambition and partnership working which already exists.
“In Fife we are not standing still. Under Fife’s new Partnership, GPs, hospitals, health workers, social care staff and partners now work together to improve peoples’ experience of health and social care and empower individuals and communities. Using the learning, skills, experience and ambition of colleagues, partners and the public as the fuel for positive service change, new ways of working and delivering services are already being taken forward. With change comes opportunity, and I believe that together, we can deliver on our ambition – to have people live safe, independent and fulfilling lives regardless of age or ability.”
Councillor Andrew Rodger, Chair of the Partnership’s Integration Joint Board, added: “Having health and social care under one Partnershipis a once in a generation change. We’ve been planning for integration for a long time and doing so with the public, partners and staff from the very beginning. Transforming services which truly place the person at the centre will be challenging, but I believe we can achieve it. This is due to the many workshops, face to face events, conversations and consultations that have been held across communities and with service partners. Most recently over 1,000 people across Fife responded to our Strategic Plan consultation where we asked people what they want from services in the future. This will continue so we keep our focus on the voice of the people. I thank all users of services, partners and staff who are enthusiastically embracing the opportunity to get involved and have their say.”