Due to the significant pressures on the sector, there is emerging evidence of limited resources available to support the integration of health and social care in Scotland, according to CIPFA’s integration group, which is comprised of Scottish integration authority chief finance officers (CFOs).
In a submission made to the Scottish Parliament Health and Sport Committee, CIPFA’s integration group claims that after the living wage and other fixed commitments, there is not enough funding available to power the integration of services in the long term. This resource issue is also intensified by the reduction of local authority and health settlements and the pressure on the sector to deliver savings.
The group recommends that in order to financially support the integration agenda, there needs to be a long-term financial strategy established by the Scottish Government. In planning for this, the government should also examine whether integrated authorities should receive a direct allocation of funding to maintain progress.
Commenting on the submission, Head of CIPFA Scotland, Don Peebles, said:
“The integration of health and social care services in Scotland will make a meaningful and lasting difference to the sector. Therefore, it is crucial that there is enough long-term investment to make sure services, which are facing significant pressures, can afford such transformation.
“It is illogical that there is no medium to long-term financial strategy for the integration of services in Scotland already in place. We urge the government to outline funding plans for future years to ensure outcomes can be boosted for the benefit of communities.”
The Chair of the CIPFA Integration Joint Board (IJB) Chief Finance Officers Section, Sharon Wearing, said:
“With emerging evidence of current budget deficits of integrated authorities between 3% and 14%, there is a careful balance to be struck between the level resources necessary to manage current demand while planning for system redesign.
“It is of crucial importance that there is integration, however, it needs to be properly planned for to ensure the sustainability of services.”
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