Community Health and Social Care Partnerships

The organisation and management of Glasgow’s health and social care services is changing. Care Appointments Scotland investigates Glasgow’s new Community Health and Social Care Partnerships (CHSCPs)…

The creation of new Community Health and Social Care Partnerships (CHSCPs), which will be run jointly by Glasgow City Council NHS Greater Glasgow, will see professional teams coming together to provide a new, cohesive service. The five new partnerships will be responsible for a wide range of community health and social care services including those provided by health visitors, district nurses, social workers, physiotherapists and dieticians. Local learning disability, mental health and addictions services will also be managed by the CHSCPs.

It goes without saying that the Directors of each of these five new partnerships will play key roles in the implementation and development of this new way of working. Care Appointments Scotland spoke with Terry Findlay, Director (designate) of the West Glasgow Community Health and Social Care Partnership (currently General Manager, Primary Care Services, NHS Greater Glasgow). We asked him what the philosophy behind the CHSCPs was and why they had come into being.

“The partnership between Glasgow City Council and Greater Glasgow NHS has been developing over a number of years as part of an overall strategy to co-ordinate planning and integrate service delivery wherever appropriate. Single services have been created between the agencies in the fields of Addictions and Learning Disability. For older people and people with physical disabilities a number of initiatives such as shared assessment, joint equipment store and joint teams to manage discharge from hospitals have been implemented by the two organisations. A program of integrating mental health services is underway and joint children’s services are now being developed.

“Underpinning this background of co-operation has been the shared goal of improving the health and well being of the most disadvantaged people in the community. Both organisations recognise that they cannot achieve this aim in isolation and have been co-operating at all levels to focus attention on the inequity of opportunity and outcome that is entrenched in Glasgow.

“Community Health and Social Care Partnerships are the logical next step towards full integration of Social Work and NHS services at a local level. Five Partnerships have been created West, East, North, South West and South East Glasgow. A wide range of planning and service delivery functions are being delegated to the new joint organisations. At the same time Committees of management are being formed that are chaired by City Councillors and involve community, professional and service user interests.”

“The aims of the new organisation are to:
– Improve the health and well being of residents, particularly those that are disadvantaged
– Work in partnership with all relevant organisations to develop locally relevant community plans and involve community members in the planning and delivery of services
– Improve quality and efficiency of service delivery through integration.” {mospagebreak}

The catalyst for the creation of the new Community Health Partnerships was the Scottish Executive’s Health White Paper, Partnership for Care, which sought to remove barriers between community health, social care and specialist health services. One of the stated aims of the CHSCPs is to make it easier for patients to access services provided by their health centre, hospital or local council.

David Comley, Director of Social Work Services at Glasgow City Council is in no doubt as to the likely outcomes of the CHSCPs.

“The outcomes will be a more streamlined and co-ordinated service for service users. There will be a focus on specific population groups and health/social problems that have social as well as health implications. Prevention of ill health, health improvement and well being will be another major outcome.”

So what will be the resultant benefits (for both the organisation and the service users alike) of this kind of partnership working between social and health care?

Terry Findlay feels this is best illustrated by the following example:

“For the service user: less assessments; quicker referral and access to other services; more appropriate service, not solely what one organisation can provide; more holistic care as this can deal with social issues as well as health care; better sharing of information; more co-ordinated care; better co-operation between health and social care professionals; more ‘one stop shop’ arrangements.

“And for the organisation: greater efficiency, shared use of facilities and support arrangements; more resources brought together in a co-ordinated way; no passing the buck between organisations; greater community involvement; more tailored local solutions and priorities.”{mospagebreak}

Clearly the two organisations that make up the new partnership (Glasgow City Council and NHS Greater Glasgow) bring to the table different areas of expertise and different ways of working. Terry Findlay sees this as a good thing and believes that, in terms of sharing experience and good practice, the Council and the NHS can learn a great deal from one another.

“The Council will bring a greater level of community involvement and engagement through elected representatives and community planning structures. Social work services are targeted to specific individuals and families while NHS services are often more universal and as a consequence have wider access. Each organisation brings different methods of prioritising services that can be usefully linked.
“The different ways of organising, training, supervising, measuring performance and assuring quality will be beneficial to both partners.”

Looking to the future, we asked David Comley what the longer term goals of the CHSCP were.

“It is expected that there will be greater devolution of services to the organisations when they are operating effectively. The partnerships will become significant local organisations that will be used to involve the community in issues that have wider implications than the local areas.

“They will become the focus for co-ordination between a number of organisations as they will be well placed to facilitate co-operation between partners.”

Each of Glasgow’s new Community Health and Social Care Partnerships (CHSCPs) have a director and senior management team. Additionally, and to ensure democratic accountability, elected members from Glasgow City Council have also been appointed to sit on each CHSCP committee, including five elected members who will chair the new committees.{mospagebreak}

Councillor James Coleman, Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council will chair the East Glasgow Community Health and Social Care Partnership Committee. He said:

“The transformation in Glasgow’s joint health and social care services is gathering pace. There’s no doubt these new Community Health and Social Care Partnerships will make a massive difference to way that Glasgow City Council and NHS Greater Glasgow deliver local services. “

Sir John Arbuthnott, Chairman of NHS Greater Glasgow, added:

“NHS Greater Glasgow and Glasgow City Council already have a proven track record in the delivery of joint learning disability, addictions and homelessness services. These new Partnerships will build on that success by bringing the delivery of health and social care services much closer to local communities.”
He added: “Patients and community groups across Glasgow will also have a greater say in the way their local health and social care services are delivered through the work of the new Public Partnership Forums that each CHSCP will develop.”

The five CHSCP committee chairs are: – North Glasgow CHSCP – Bailie Robert Winter, East Glasgow CHSCP – Councillor James Coleman, West Glasgow CHSCP – Councillor Aileen Colleran, South East Glasgow CHSCP – Bailie Alan Stewart, South West Glasgow CHSCP- Councillor Stephen Curran.

The five CHSCP Directors are: – North Glasgow CHSCP – Alex MacKenzie, East Glasgow CHSCP – Mark Feinmann, West Glasgow CHSCP – Terry Findlay, South East CHSCP Glasgow – Cathie Cowan, South West Glasgow CHSCP – Iona Colvin.
NHS Greater Glasgow is working with local authority partners and neighbouring NHS Boards to develop the following 9 CHSCPs by April 1 2006:
– Five Glasgow Community Health and Social Care Partnerships (covering the area served by Glasgow City Council) which will be run jointly with Glasgow City Council
– An East Renfrewshire Community Health and Care Partnership (covering the area served by East Renfrewshire Council) which will be run jointly with East Renfrewshire Council
– An East Dunbartonshire Community Health Partnership (covering the area served by East Dunbartonshire Council)
– A West Dunbartonshire Community Health Partnership (covering the area served by West Dunbartonshire Council)
– A South Lanarkshire Community Health Partnership which will include the Rutherglen and Cambuslang areas of Greater Glasgow (this will be run jointly with NHS Lanarkshire).