Sunday, 1 February 2015

Debate on resources for social care services

Yesterday, I participated in a "Glasgow Care Crisis" meeting which discussed the impact of budget cuts by Glasgow City Council. It focused on the concerns of service users affected by cuts to funding of mental health services and changes to provision for adults with learning disabilities. 

I shared my perspective with reference to the significant issues which inform the debate on social care services in Glasgow during 2015-16. 

1) Funding of the £100m for delayed discharge announced by Scottish Government on 20th January 2015.

This funding is available over three years to invest in the NHS to help reduce the numbers of people waiting to be discharged from hospital. It aims to support public services to provide good quality care and support for people at home or residential care setting. A critical issue is prevention of delays discharge and taking actions to make admissions to hospital and attendances at A&E less likely. There is funding of £13.29m to be spent in Glasgow as part of the wider plans linked to the integration of health and social care services.

2) Glasgow City Council is no longer a member of COSLA
A taskforce has been set up with COSLA to roll out plans to support delayed discharge improvement. It would appear that the withdrawal from membership of COSLA will reduce the opportunities for Glasgow City Council to influence decision-making and share expertise with other local authorities on these plans.
The new Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership will be forming in the next few months and this resource aims to assist in delivering public services that focus on transferring people from hospital within 72 hours of their discharge date. The aim is to redesign services and create an even greater focus on supporting people to live independently at home.
3) The allocation of Integration Care Funds is available for community and third sector preventative services.
Newly established Health and Social Care Partnerships will receive an additional £100m in 2015-16 from Scottish Government to help integrate services and the emphasis is on funding the third sector organisations to deliver community-based services. This money will be available to partnerships following the end of the £300m Reshaping Care for Older People Change Fund, which concludes in April 2015.
4) Adoption of a new Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership 
The process is underway to set up the new Partnership with the scheme of establishment being considered for approval by the Executive Committee on 5
th February 2015. 

5) Opening of the New South Glasgow University Hospital
The new South Glasgow University Hospital and Royal Hospital For Sick Children aims to deliver maternity, children’s and adult acute hospitals, and state of the art laboratory services all together on the one campus. It will also have the biggest Critical Care complex and one of the biggest Emergency Departments in Scotland. 

It is apparent, from the questions that were raised at the meeting, that the immediate concern of service users and their carers is the budget decision of Glasgow City Council at its budget meeting on 19th February. Proposals are being developed by all the political groups for this meeting including the Green Councillors Group. The views of people who attended the meeting will feed in to the process of developing budget options.

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