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Integration - joining up health and social care

Integration - joining up health and social care
The integration of health and social care is the Scottish Government's programme of reform to improve care and support for those who use health and social care services.

Integration aims to improve people's lives, by ensuring better care and support are available for people who live with long-term conditions and disabilities, many of whom are older people. It also aims to ensure that services are provided in a seamless and co-ordinated way.

Users of health and social care services can expect to be:

  • listened to
  • involved in deciding upon the care they receive
  • an active participant in how it is delivered

This will mean better outcomes for people, helping them enjoy better health and wellbeing in their homes and communities.

The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 sets out what the Scottish Government is aiming to achieve. It's established a set of nationally agreed outcomes, which will apply across health and social care, and for which NHS boards and local authorities will be held jointly accountable.

It's also put in place a set of integration planning principles which mean that services should be provided in a way, so far as possible, which:

  • is integrated from the point of view of service-users
  • takes account of the particular needs of different service-users
  • takes account of the particular needs of service-users in different parts of the area in which the service is being provided
  • takes account of the particular characteristics and circumstances of different service-users
  • respects the rights of service-users
  • takes account of the dignity of service-users
  • takes account of the participation by service-users in the community in which service-users live
  • protects and improves the safety of service-users
  • improves the quality of the service
  • is planned and led locally in a way which is engaged with the community (including, in particular service-users, those who look after service-users, and those who are involved in providing health or social care)
  • best anticipates needs and prevents them arising, and
  • makes the best use of the available facilities, people and other resources

Further information

Visit the Carers Scotland website.

Read the Scottish Government's Integration of health and social care.

Read the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014.

The information was last updated on: 16th January 2019


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