Scotland switches to Care Partnerships to manage care home funding

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Responsibility for the commissioning of all adult care services will transfer new care boards in Scotland this week.

From April 1, spending on care homes, along with community nursing and GP surgeries will be managed by Health and Social Care Partnerships, the equivalent of Clinical Commissioning Groups in England.

Scottish operators are facing considerable financial difficulties as demand increases faster than the fees allocated to pay for it.

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The Scottish government hopes that a more joined-up health and social care system will ease pressures on both hospitals and adult social care.

But an investigation by Scottish national newspaper The Herald has found that the new boards will inherit a system in crisis.

The newspaper lodged freedom on information requests to all local authorities asking for details of their funding. Across 31 local authority areas, 19 said they were predicting an overspend on adult social care services totalling £13.26m. In addition Edinburgh City Council said their books were balanced this year but savings of £15.2m would need to be made in the field of adult social care next year.

Dr Alan McDevitt, chair of the Scottish General Practitioners Committee of the BMA, told The Herald: “It is quite worrying. Patients in the community depend on social care in order to stay in their own homes. That is fundamentally part of what we need to do in Scotland. It gives me concern if the effects of this are that there is not enough money to manage the care patients require.”

Shona Robison, Scottish Health Secretary, has said more than half a billion pounds is being invested over the next three years to ensure the new boards drive change. A fund of £250m has also been promised to the new boards for the new financial year, although the cash has been given to the NHS.

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