Why do we need to integrate?

The shape of Scottish society and the health and care needs of our communities are changing. People are living longer, healthier lives and as the needs of our society change, so too must the nature and form of our public services.

In the next 10 years, the number of people in Scotland aged over 75 is likely to have increased by over 25%. In the same period, it’s also estimated that nearly two-thirds of people will have developed a long-term condition by the age of 65.

The 2011 Christie Commission Report on the Future Delivery of Public Services makes key recommendations for the Scottish Government, local government and partners to take forward a rolling programme of bottom-up, outcomes-based reviews across service areas to improve performance and reduce costs.

Health and social care services and partners can work better together to ensure that the needs of those who use services are more ‘anticipated’. Better use of their combined resources can help to put an emphasis on anticipatory care which could result in the prevention of unplanned admissions to hospital or long-term care which will result in individuals benefiting from an improved quality of life, maintaining independence for longer and minimising support needs.

Prevention   is  at  the heart  of  public  service reform with integrated preventative approaches including anticipatory care, promoting physical activity and introducing technology and rehabilitation interventions to prevent or delay functional decline and disability.

We are now able to prevent, detect and treat illness earlier and understand more about how long-term conditions affect people’s lives. We have a better understanding of the support that people need to live their lives on their own terms. In future, local integrated networks of care and support will build stronger links with the many local voluntary services and resources that help people to stay well.

Illustration showing services working together in a person's home