Families should help out more with social care, say Edinburgh health bosses

Health  social careweb

Edinburgh Integration Joint Board (EIJB) will consult on plans which aim to see people receive greater support from their families

7th June 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Families are being asked to ‘plug the gap’ to relieve pressure on a health and social care board.

Edinburgh Integration Joint Board (EIJB) has revealed it will make changes which place an onus on people receiving care to look after themselves, or to be greater supported by family members.

The news follows Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership being accused of making cuts earlier this week with plans to replace overnight assistance with technology such as alarms and sensor mats.

An action plan created by the EIJB reveals it is planning conversations with the public about what might be deemed a reasonable contribution from individuals, their relatives, neighbours and local communities to provide elements of social care.

The initiative aims to support all people in Edinburgh who require health and social care with a shift from focusing primarily on those who are delayed from leaving hospital.

Judith Proctor, chief officer for the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “The report sets out some of the short, medium and long-term plans that have been agreed to begin to make a focused impact on outcomes for people.

“It details not just the immediate pressures but the shift in the way we work – that will include culture change and significant investment. The new approach will include a shift towards preventative and early intervention activity that will reduce dependency on acute services and crisis support.

“Health bosses point to a traditional expectation that formal care is provided by public services and that while public spending on health and social care has significantly reduced in recent years, expectations regarding the level and standard of provision have not reduced to the same extent.”

The board faces a shortfall in its budget of around £12.4m for 2018/19, assuming savings of £11.1m are made.

EIJB chairman Ricky Henderson said: “Supporting people to live as independently as possible in their own home and community means we need to think carefully about how our invaluable health and social care services are provided.

“EIJB has, over the last eight months, reviewed its strategic planning approach and this plan sets the future direction of travel and outlines activities that will ensure a sustained focus on improvement in a number of key areas such as reducing the number of people delayed in hospital, preventing unnecessary admissions, and reducing the length of time people are waiting for an assessment in the community.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “This is a welcome development by the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership and Integration Joint Board as they work to meet the needs of the capital.

“This year the Scottish Government is investing almost half a billion pounds of frontline NHS spending in social care services and integration and in 2018/19 we will provide an additional £66 million to local government in support of social care.

“This will allow local partnerships to work together to make best use of their total resources and ensure people have access to the right care at the right time in the right place.”