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Nwicker60
21-Mar-12, 17:30
Council and NHS Highland seal joint care agreement

THE Board of NHS Highland sealed a ground breaking partnership agreement with the Highland Council. The new arrangements set out how services will be integrated to improve the outcomes for the people of Highland .
In a first for Scotland the agencies are overhauling the way key caring services are delivered. From 1 April, NHS Highland will be the lead agency for adult services and the Council will be the lead agency for children’s services. To support the move a new Highland Health and Social Care Partnership will be set up which will see 1400 Highland Council staff transferring across to NHS Highland.
Elaine Mead, Chief Executive for NHS Highland, said: “This is a very exciting time as the new approach brings enormous potential to improve how we deliver some services. It is now up to all of us to make the most of these opportunities as we redesign our services and the way we work together over the next two years. Even though this is a huge step in taking forward how health is delivered it is vital that no focus is lost in the day to day service delivery.”
Garry Coutts, Chair of NHS Highland, said: “Its great to see Highland leading the way towards integrating services. People have been telling us for years this is a “must-do” and we have risen to the challenge. Things won’t change overnight but over time I am in no doubt this is going to help us to look after more people in their own homes. It will be much more efficient and a lot less frustrating. This has captured the imagination of very many staff and there is a ground swell of support and commitment to make this a success.”
Over the past 15 months, a programme of work has focused on preparing the way for the transfer of functions between organisations so that new integrated services can be developed. The emphasis has been on ensuring no break in continuity of service and change which would be detrimental to the outcomes sought by users, carers and staff.
Considerable work has progressed in determining financial processes and budgets. In respect of adult services, the financial contribution payable by The Highland Council to NHS Highland for the first financial year is an indicative 88,296,000.
In respect of Children’s services, the financial contribution payable by NHS Highland to Highland Council for the first financial year will be 8,100,000.