On Friday 26th February 2010, West Dunbartonshire Council and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde announced plans to integrate Community Health and Social Work services in West Dunbartonshire in shadow form from April 2010.
The new arrangements will help to deliver an improved and seamless integrated health and social care service to meet the changing needs of local service users and increased demand for personal care packages. This will be achieved through the development of clearly defined shared goals, improved coordination of services and streamlined decision making.
Leader of West Dunbartonshire Council Iain Robertson said: “I am delighted to progress this partnership with the NHS, with whom the Council enjoys a successful and productive working relationship.
"I would like to express my thanks to all Elected Members who support our vision and understand the long-term benefits of integration for local people.
"This is particularly important at a time when demand for our services is increasing and the pressure on our resources is intense.
"The integration of Community Health and Social Work services in West Dunbartonshire will help us deliver improved care packages today, and in the future, and will allow us to be more responsive to individual needs whilst cutting out unnecessary bureaucracy and delay.”
Andrew Robertson, Chair of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde added: “I am confident that our aspirations to deliver better services for the people we serve are shared and that we can work together to develop detailed proposals which will be acceptable for both our organisations.
"At the heart of all this organisational change must be the users of Social Care and Health. We will not assume that integration of management and governance will produce better and more integrated services. We will ensure that subsequent packages of integrated care provided will, from start to finish, reflect personal need and also be provided in as effective and efficient a way as possible.”
Both partners have confirmed their commitment to immediate and ongoing communication with service users and staff to identify the opportunities and challenges that will be met and addressed throughout the integration process.
The Council and the Health Board will now progress with the recruitment of a joint Director who will take on the roles of Director of Community Health and Executive Director of Social work and will manage the integrated service through a single management team. It is expected that the new partnership will exist in a transitional form until a full partnership commences on October 1st 2010.
The announcement marks a significant step forward in responding to the recommendations made by Sir John Arbuthnott following an independent Review into Joint Working and Shared Services across the Clyde Valley Planning Partnership.
West Dunbartonshire Council agreed to the integration proposals at a full Council Meeting in Dumbarton on Wednesday 24th February. The report included a review of the options for Integration and noted the importance of placing the needs of service users at the centre of integration plans and providing clear and regular communication for stakeholders. The review also noted the high quality of Social Work services in West Dunbartonshire and the need to continue to support existing successful partnership working.
The current joint management and governance arrangements for the Argyll & Bute and the Dunbartonshires Criminal Justice Partnership will not be affected by Integration plans at this time.
Notes to Editors:
• A full copy of the Review of the options for Integration can be found at www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk
• Integration Plans will be led by Keith Redpath, Community Health Partnership Director, NHS and Stephen West, Joint Interim Director of Social Work and Health for West Dunbartonshire Council.