Service-users and the General Public

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will integration change the way I receive care and services? Will things be better?

The main aim of integration is to provide a seamless response to everyone who uses adult health and social care services, putting the person at the heart of all decisions made. Integration is about understanding different professional perspectives, sharing existing expertise and coordinating resources. It’s about making the delivery of health and social care better.


2. What will integrated care look like?

The detail on what services will look like, exactly how staff will come together and what people using services will experience, is being left to Integration Authorities to decide. It is likely that, over time, services and approaches might look quite different across Scotland as decisions are taken locally. Integrated functions will cover social care, adult community healthcare, and aspects of adult hospital care that are most amenable to service redesign in support of prevention and better outcomes.


3. What will the impact be on services for people with multiple complex needs?

Integrating health and social care will see services more joined up. It aims to provide seamless care and improve outcomes for people who have a range of complex support needs, and for their carers and families as well. Too often, in these circumstances, people are admitted to hospital, or to a care home, when a package of care and support in the community could deliver better outcomes for them. When this happens, the consequences are felt across the whole system, by the individual and by services, as resources are tied up inappropriately in care that is not best suited for  the individual.


4. My Local Authority arranges for a carer to come in every day to help me. Will I now get someone different?

Services will still be provided via the Local Authority and there is no reason that this means a different carer. It will be for the Local Authority to arrange appropriate care provision in collaboration with the individual.


5. What assurances are there that the needs of other age groups will be met under integration?

Integration isn’t just about focusing on older people. The aim of integration is to make Scotland a great place to be born, grow up in and grow old in, where people of all ages are supported to live well at home or in the community, for as much time as they can, ensuring that they have a positive experience of health and social care services when they need it.


6. Health and social care integration sounds great in theory but isn’t the existing way of working sufficient?

While there is lots of excellent work taking place already, the existing way of working can be improved to produce a more seamless approach to meeting an individual’s care needs. This will include reducing duplication of effort across a range of functions and professional boundaries that can result in delays and frustrations for people who use health and social care services. Integration can help reduce inefficiencies and ensure that we are spending the funding that we have in the most productive and efficient way by combining and directing resources appropriately.