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For the first time in Scotland, local authorities and NHS Boards are setting joint budgets for the delivery of health and social care services.

In Fife, the body now responsible for services under the new Health and Social Care Partnership, the Integration Joint Board (IJB), has set a one year budget (2016/17) to deliver a range of health and social care services relating to all adults as well as Children’s Community Health Services such as Health Visiting.

With a joint budget of circa £450m, this also comes with the recognition of the challenges of a joint funding gap of £15 million that needs to be bridged.  Board members heard today of a range of proposals designed to reduce the funding gap over the next two years through an ambitious transformation programme. The Board previously approved a 3 year strategic plan that will focus improvement on:

•           Prevention and Early Intervention,

•           Integrated and Co-ordinated Care,

•           Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing, and;

•           Tackling Inequality

This transformation is being realised following the Scottish Government’s recent allocation of £16.8m for health and social care in Fife. Around half of this fund is earmarked to support the uplift in the Living Wage for service partners in the Independent and Third sector from 1 October 2016. The remaining element of the fund will be invested to deliver the Partnership’s ambitious transformation programme.

The Partnership will be re-designing services in conjunction with service users, patients, carers, families, staff and a range of Independent and Third Sector service providers so that the together, NHS Fife and Fife Council, can move away from traditional and costly models of care.

Cllr Andrew Rodger, Chair of Fife’s Health and Social Care Partnership stated:

“We are now in a position to look across the whole NHS and social care system and identify monies for investment that will make sustainable and long term change – not just a quick fix.  We have outlined our budget and set out the challenges fully mindful that we must be open and honest with the public, our users of services and our staff.  We are living in challenging times with ever increasing demands and pressures but doing nothing is not an option.  I want to reassure that nothing will happen without the voice of the public and staff being heard first and we already have representation on the Board and within our working groups so they are already at the heart of the discussion and actively shaping and informing the decision making.  This ensures Fife is building services from a place of strength.” 

Start of the change journey

Andrew continues:  “In many ways we are just starting out on our journey of change with a new landscape now emerging.  However, we are looking forward with ambition and in Fife we have this in abundance, a fact that was underlined this week when I met with doctors, volunteers and staff at Glenrothes community hospital and heard how they are responding to improve services for people. 

We will build on already proven programmes of success and ensure that every £1 of the public purse is spent wisely and responsibly to transform services through a programme of innovation.  This will be complex and brought in at pace but I am reassured that Fife’s workforce has the experience, skills and professionalism to deliver.

The uplift in the Living Wage for our partners in the Third and Independent sector will help enhance the attractiveness of the sector as a valuable career option for a person to enter as a profession as well as retain skilled professionals already in the industry.  This is vital as we look to respond to people’s wishes to stay at home regardless of age or ability. Together we will look for the opportunities that can be taken in the short, medium and long term.  Together, with users of services, carers and families at the heart of our decision making, our aim is to create new and sustainable ways of care in communities now and in the future.”