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Delivering integrated care and support

Integration of health and social care has been a longstanding feature of the policy agenda in Scotland, as elsewhere in the UK. In the period since the Joint Future Report of 2000, the number and range of initiatives concerned to deliver more effective support across health and social care boundaries has accelerated. Key triggers have been the drive to reduce the number of people experiencing unnecessary admission to or delayed discharge from hospital and the desire to support individuals effectively in their own homes. The Reshaping Care for Older People programme, supported by the Joint Improvement Team, has provided a major focus for the integration agenda.

This report has been produced at a time when the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill1 is going through the legislative process. The Bill itself follows a period of consultation on the draft proposals published in May 20122 and the response of Scottish Government to the issues raised during the consultation3. The aim of this document is not however to look at the detail of the specific proposals in the Bill; rather it seeks to distil from the research evidence key findings to assist health and social care partnerships in Scotland in their delivery of integrated care and support. Reference will be made as appropriate to the Bill and associated policy memorandum, but the focus is on highlighting the key dimensions for implementation and their associated actions irrespective of the detail of legislation or governance