Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Joined up services!

It was great to read about this innovative approach to delivering services to children and adults in the Highland Council area of Scotland. Working together Highland Council and NHS Council agreed to amalgamate their services to adults and children with Highland NHS leading on Adult Services and Highland Council leading on Childrens Services. The new service resulted in 1700 Social Workers and Care staff switching employers from Highland Council to Highland NHS and 250 Health Visitors and School Nurses transferring the other way.

The rationale for the changes were:
Garry Coutts, chairman of NHS Highland, said the board and council had been trying for years to work more closely, but essential changes had been deferred because one partner could always wield a veto. "We believe it is the inherent problems of delivering services through a partnership model that has held us back," he said.
"With separate budgets, two lines of management and very different governance arrangements, we have never been able to be as effective or as efficient as we believed we could be.
"At a stroke we have removed these barriers and now have an unparalleled opportunity to fully integrate services."
This sums up the situation we are in in Wales with Carl Sergeant forcing through partnerships', collaborations and compacts without any thought whatsover whether it will produce better outcomes for our clients or just a cost saving exercise. We in Wales should pilot a similar innovative service.

My only reservation with this service is to question whether the transition from Children's Services to Adult Services will be seamless or will the bureaucracy come back into play at that point?

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