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Partnership agreement seals integration of caring services in the Highlands (21/03/12)
Highland Councillors have sealed a ground breaking partnership agreement with NHS Highland to improve outcomes for the people of Highland through the development of integrated services.
The agencies are leading the way in Scotland in 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.
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.
These arrangements have been agreed to ensure that the maximum impact is achieved in the long term in respect of effectiveness and efficiency.
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.
Alistair Dodds, Chief Executive of The Highland Council said the completion of the historic partnership agreement was the result of considerable input from a wide range of staff across both organisations and within Scottish Government.
He said: “The Highland Council and NHS Highland have embarked on a remarkable journey to improve outcomes for the people of Highland through the development of integrated services. There is still considerable work to be done, but in the short time of this programme, much has been achieved.
“This will ensure the safe transfer of functions, the ongoing professional support of staff, the development of systems and processes to support the services, a resolution to many difficult issues never before tackled, such as pensions, VAT reporting and the agreement of a governance and management structure which will provide assurance to the Health Board, Elected members and Scottish Government.”