Scotland's Community Health Partnerships to undergo 'radical reform'

The Scottish government will introduce a 'radical reform' of the Community Health Partnerships (CHPs) to strengthen the role clinicians play in planning services locally.

Dr Keighley urged the government to ensure that the reform is ‘much more than superficial re-branding’.
Dr Keighley urged the government to ensure that the reform is ‘much more than superficial re-branding’.

The Scottish government said legislation will be introduced to transform CHPs into new health and social care partnerships.

The move aims to better integrate adult health and social care and will focus particularly on improving the quality and consistency of care for older people.

Scotland's health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said the reform will tackle the barriers that currently exist within CHPs, such as poor clinical engagement and division of accountability between the NHS and local authorities.

She said the new health and social care partnerships will be the joint responsibility of the NHS and local authorities.

The organisations will be accountable to ministers, leaders of local authorities and the public for delivering new nationally agreed outcomes, she added.

Ms Sturgeon said: ‘These changes represent the radical reform that is badly needed to improve care for older people, and to make better use of the substantial resources that we commit to adult health and social care.

‘Our reforms will deliver a system that is effectively integrated, leading to better outcomes for older people and better use of resources.’

BMA Scotland chairman Dr Brian Keighley urged the government to ensure that the reform is ‘much more than superficial re-branding’.

He said: ‘If these new ‘partnership’ organisations are to succeed, they must engage and involve GPs representing practices in the local area. These new ‘partnerships’ must not be about saving money, but should focus on providing the right balance of care available to local communities.  

‘In order to succeed, they must be clinically driven and supported by management to avoid falling into the pitfalls of the predecessor organisations and I hope that legislation will reflect this.’

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