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Health and Social Care Integration

Mainstreaming Equalities

The Scottish Parliament passed legislation requiring Health Boards and Local Authorities across Scotland to integrate adult health and social care functions. This is the most significant reform to Scotland’s National Health Service and social care service in a generation. The purpose of integrating these services is to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes of people.

NHS Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire Council have chosen to integrate services through the establishment of the South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership.

Since 1 April 2016, the South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership, a new, legal entity is responsible for planning, commissioning and overseeing the delivery of integrated health and social care provision, in South Lanarkshire.

The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 stipulates that all public bodies across Scotland are required to produce and deliver a set of equality outcomes to further one or more of the three needs of the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED/also known as General Duty).

The duty has two parts – a General Duty and Specific Duties. The General Duty came into force in April 2011 and applies to any organisation which carries out a public function.

There are a number of requirements under the Specific Duties which support public bodies to carry out the General Duty. The Scottish Government added Joint Integration Board to Schedule 19 of the Equality Act 2010 and to The Equality Act 2010 (specific duties) Regulations 201 in April 2016 and so all Integration Joint Boards (IJBs) are subject to the Specific Duties.

The Joint Integration Boards will be required to publish the following information by the 30 April 2016:

  • a report on mainstreaming the equality duty
  • a set of equality outcomes

Mainstreaming Equality Duty Report and Equality Outcomes

The South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership Strategic Commissioning Plan has considered the equality mainstreaming requirements for future reporting and has therefore been aligned directly to the equality outcomes.  These Equality outcomes are expressed and will be measured through the nine health and wellbeing outcomes, which are embedded and core to the delivery of the plan and this therefore forms the basis of the 2016 – 2017 mainstreaming and equality outcome report by highlighting the work that has been done through extensive engagement with our local communities, clinicians, practitioners, carers and other stakeholders. This approach has  provided the partnership with the unique opportunity to rebalance the health and social care system by focusing on developing more personalised, preventative, proactive care, therefore taking full account of the needs of individuals to fully ensure they are treated in a fair and open manner and have access on a non discriminatory basis and in a manner which promotes equality of opportunity and positive community relations. The vision of the partnership is of “working together to improve health and wellbeing in the community – with the community”.

We will also proactively prevent, identify and manage long term conditions and ensure all aspects of care and supports are co-ordinated around the person. By delivering locality based care and support we will address many of the inequalities of health that exist in South Lanarkshire, improve health outcomes and deliver a better experience of care for all.

The plan clearly sets out that health inequalities are influenced by a wide range of factors including access to education, employment and good housing; equitable access to healthcare; life circumstances. Accordingly we will shift resources from not only dealing with the consequences of health inequalities but also to effective early intervention and access to preventative services which are essential to tackling inequalities. This will be done in partnership with South Lanarkshire Council and NHS Lanarkshire through and in line with their respective equality outcomes.  We will also work with the wider Community Planning Partners to jointly find approaches and solutions to addressing the specific inequalities which relate to the people of South Lanarkshire.

Part of this process will be working with partners to align outcomes during their development for April 2017.  NHS Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire Council will continue to report on Equality Mainstreaming and Equality Outcomes for each organisation which the partnership will share in.  This includes utilising South Lanarkshire Council’s equality impact assessment process where relevant assessments of policies will be published and links provided through the partnership website currently being developed.

Related content

  1. Health and Social Care Integration
  2. Mainstreaming Equalities