Edinburgh health and social care strategy revealed

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The Edinburgh Integration Joint Board (EIJB) has published plans to "radically transform" social care in the capital

22nd August 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Plans to revamp health and social care services in the capital have been revealed.

The Edinburgh Integration Joint Board (EIJB), which oversees the delivery of services which support the wellbeing of adults, says it will “radically transform” the way Edinburgh delivers its health and social care services.

Under its new Strategic Plan, approved on Tuesday (20 August), the board says it will further integrate council and NHS services to deliver an “affordable, sustainable and trusted health and social care system” under its vision for a caring, healthier and safer Edinburgh.

As part of the plan, which initially will run for three years, a bespoke Edinburgh Offer or pact has been created with the aim of tackling inequalities so that age, disability, and health conditions are no longer barriers to living a safe and thriving life.

Promising better collaboration between healthcare providers and local communities and working closely with the council's housing and homelessness services, the strategy will focus on helping people to live independently for longer, shifting the balance of care from hospitals to the community under a Home First approach.

A move towards a more flexible way of working is planned with the transformation of the EIJB's services, to reduce overlap, modernise systems and concentrate resources in new ways.

Ricky Henderson, vice chair of the EIJB, said: “Edinburgh’s population is expected to increase faster than any other city in Scotland and with that comes a number of very real challenges. The number of residents who are aged 85 and over is expected to more than double over the next 20 years.

“We need to accept that the status quo is unsustainable in the long term and our care systems need to evolve. Our Strategic Plan identifies new ways of delivering care so that we can better meet the current and future needs of Edinburgh citizens and, crucially, work to improve the population’s overall wellbeing.”

Judith Proctor, Chief Officer for the EIJB, added: “This is the first step on a long journey which will only work if we improve integration and redesign certain services. Our plans are very ambitious because we need to be bold - Edinburgh deserves the very best that we can offer.

“That’s why at the heart of this Plan is a desire to improve the experience of patients, families and carers across the board. The conventional approach to care makes people wait for an assessment and is about processes, not people. That’s something I’m passionate about changing. We need to abandon the jargon and work in a way which is much more meaningful for families.”

Ella Simpson, from EVOC, said: “It is so important for Edinburgh’s voluntary and community organisations to have a voice and shape decisions which are made about health and social care. That’s why EVOC, as a board member of the EIJB, has been heavily involved in the development of the Strategic Plan.

“The voluntary and community sector has been involved throughout the development of this plan and our intimate knowledge and understanding of people's needs are reflected in the plan. The result is a collaborative vision.  The hard work starts now as we work together to realise the ambition of the plan.”