|Printable version||E-mail this to a friend|
More care to be provided at home
An increasing number of adult health and social care services are being provided through joined up working, so that people can get more care at home.
Patients and members of the public are now being asked for their views on plans for them to receive more treatment closer to home as a consultation on the integration of health and social care launches today.
More health staff are set to work in the community as the shift in the balance of care gathers pace.
Figures show there are now around 10,600 nurses working in communities across Scotland - 2,500 more than in 2006.
The integrated approach aims to cut unnecessary hospital admissions, reduce the number of people being delayed in hospital longer than they should, and to meet the target of a four-week maximum wait for discharge to be achieved by April 2013, and a two-week maximum delay by April 2015.
Integrated care is already working well in some areas across Scotland. For example, NHS Highland and Highland Council are working together to deliver health and social care, with members of staff transferring from the NHS to the council and vice versa. And Perth and Kinross Council and NHS Tayside have formed a partnership to work with local people to look at how health and social care services should be run.
Ms Sturgeon said:
"The NHS doesn't stand still. It is currently in a period of transition, as the balance of care shifts towards more community care and shorter hospital stays.
"We know that in Scotland more people are living for longer, and this brings challenges in terms of the way we plan for, organise and deliver our health and social care services, particularly for people in their later years.
"That is why we are looking at developing a more integrated system, and through closer working between local authorities and health boards, we expect to see improvements in the quality of care our patients and service users receive.
"By allowing people to be treated closer to home, and adopting a more community-based approach, this will help us to improve health and social care, consistently, for older people in all parts of the country.
"By seeking views from our patients, carers and service users, we will ensure these changes represent the radical change that is needed to improve care across adult health and social care services, and in particular care for older people."
Councillor Douglas Yates, COSLA Health and Wellbeing Spokesperson, said:
"Scottish Local Government welcomes these proposals on the integration of health and social care and recognises that strong and effective partnership must be at the heart of driving better outcomes for the people of Scotland.
"I have no doubt that the proposed arrangements, whatever their final form, will need time to embed, develop and demonstrate added value. But what we have with these proposals is a foundation on which to build stronger local delivery arrangements, tighter governance and accountability and better outcomes for people who require care and support."
The consultation will run from 8 May until 31 July and can be viewed at http://bit.ly/JmlK1x .