Partnership is prescribed for health and social work services

Key health and social work services will be delivered by a new partnership in Argyll and Bute as early as next April, it was announced today.

NHS Highland and Argyll and Bute Council have agreed the services that will come together as the area’s Health and Social Care Partnership.

As revealed here in April, the two bodies are joining together for a project which will have a budget pooled from both the NHS and the council and will be accountable to both organisations.

From April 1 next year all NHS services in Argyll and Bute, as well as the council’s adult and children and families social work services will deliver a single, integrated service.

Council chief executive Sally Loudon said: “This approach means that we maintain the benefits of one unified social work service, which is regarded as the best model of care.

“Our focus is on developing a single service with the people who need support at its heart. This is another important step forward.”

The ‘body corporate’ model of the HSCP means that staff who work for NHS Highland will remain NHS employees and council staff will remain council employees.

Elaine Mead, chief executive of NHS Highland, said: “This combination of services has been assessed as the best fit between NHS Highland and council services because this will place people firmly at the centre of their care and ensure our teams deliver flexible and responsive care, which is streamlined and simple to access.

“A lot of people are working extremely hard to deliver a successful partnership for the people of Argyll and Bute.”

NHS Highland and the council are working towards having an integrated service in place by April 2015, in line with the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act.

The scope of services was agreed by NHS Highland’s board on June 3 and by Argyll and Bute Council on June 26.