Its April the 1st 2016 and today is the day that what has been heralded as the single biggest reform to the way health and social care is delivered in Scotland, since the creation of the NHS, becomes fully operational. Legislation to implement health and social care integration, passed by the Scottish Parliament in February 2014, will come in to force today bringing together NHS and local council care services under one partnership arrangement for each area.
In total 31 local partnerships have been set up across Scotland and will manage almost £8 billion of health and social care resources, including those currently associated with 96 per cent of delayed discharge and 83 per cent of unplanned admissions in the over 75s. So this is of huge significance to the future care and management of older people across Scotland. From today the partnerships are responsible for the health and care needs of patients, in particular older people, to ensure when people move between hospital and care settings their journey is better coordinated and as seamless as possible. I suppose the key question now is will we notice the difference? (Or how long until this makes a difference?)
The aims behind the whole project and what it is hoped it will achieve are detailed at http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Health/Policy/Adult-Health-SocialCare-Integration/Principles
Today also sees the launch of the National Living Wage but I have a real concern about that terminology because this so called National Living Wage is anything but that. It’s the National Minimum Wage and its a bit of UK Government spin suggesting that most people could live on this pay level alone. Why do I think that, see:
Some thing else happens today that appears to be getting more attention than the Scottish reforms and that’s the great Manchester Experiment. At midnight tonight, the 10 Councils in the Greater Manchester Combined Authority take direct control of their annual health and social care budget of £6 billion. Money previously administered by central government ministers in London (so devolution essentially). To find out more about their plans see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-35933922