The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 was given Royal Assent on 1st April 2014. This Act provides the legal framework to enable Health & Social Care integration and is the largest piece of public service reform ever undertaken in Scotland.
The aim of health and social care integration is to help address the three main challenges facing health and social care:
- Shifting demography
- An increasing number of people living with multiple, complex, long-term conditions
- Ever reducing public funding.
The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 placed a joint duty on the Local Authority and Health Board to establish an “Integration Authority” to deliver the nine nationally agreed health and wellbeing outcomes for health and social care.
The parties had the option to choose between two models for their Integration Authority:
- A ‘Lead Agency’, where one of the authorities (NHS or Local Authority) would be responsible for delivering specified integrated functions; or
- A ‘Body Corporate’, whereby a new legal entity would be created to take responsibility for the delivery of the integrated functions, under the direction of a jointly appointed Chief Officer.
All areas except Highland elected to adopt the Body Corporate model and Clackmannanshire and Stirling decided to form a single Body Corporate to service the needs of both areas. This means that there are 30 Integration Joint Boards (IJBs) and 1 Joint Monitoring Committee (Highland) across the 32 Local Authority areas in Scotland.