Scottish Parliament Report: ‘Are they involving us? Integration Authorities engagement with stakeholders’, where are we now?

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In September 2017 The Health and Sport Committee at the Scottish Parliament undertook a short inquiry to assess the extent to which stakeholders (including the public, the service users, the third sector and the independent sector) are being involved effectively in the work of Integration Authorities and Integrated Joint Boards.

The Public Bodies (Joint Working) Act 2014 (the Act) sets out the legislative framework for integrating health and social care. This Act sought to achieve this vision by placing a duty on integration authorities to ensure stakeholders were fully engaged in the preparation, publication and review of strategic commissioning plans.

Supporting guidance highlighted how the aim was to ensure a wide and diverse engagement which results in a strategic commissioning plan that is not simply controlled by a small number of people on the Strategic Planning Group but rather the population that will be affected by its findings.

Findings from this report include:

  • A lack of public awareness about the establishment of Integration Authorities
  • Little awareness of the engagement carried out by Integration Authorities
  • A tendency for Integration Authorities to engage with organisations already known to health boards and local authorities
  • Engagement being seen as ‘tokenistic’ which was not delivering the co-production that was required
  • A lack of transparency about how Integration Authorities operate
  • A lack of responsiveness from Integration Authorities to requests for information
  • A lack of support for individuals and third sector organisations to be involved in Integration Joint Boards
  • Difficulties for service users to act as representatives
  • A lack of consistency across different Integrated Joint Boards

You can see a copy of the Report here.

More recently, SCVO, CCPS and the Alliance have written a paper for the Ministerial Strategic Group for Health and Community Care on Third and Independent Sector engagement with Integration. The paper suggests that although there is some good practice, there is much more to be done to realise the intention within the Christie Commission that public sector reform should be built around people and communities. They make 11 recommendations, including recognising that more needs to be done to achieve the policy ambitions in relation to engagement of the third and independent sectors with integration, and the creation of a routine method of engagement between the third and independent sectors and Strategic Planning Groups. You can read the full paper here:

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