Integration of Adult Health and Community Care - Dundee City Council's Response to Scottish Government

12 September 2012

 At the meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee on Monday evening 10 September 2012, Councillors were asked to approve a draft response to the Scottish Government in relation to their consultation on The Integration of Adult Health and Community Care.

Here is what I said while asking a series of questions about gaps in the draft consultation responses from the Council.

"Convener, (Councillor Ken Guild also a Ferry Councillor) the problems of lack of integration of the planning and delivery of social care services have long been identified.

“From the point of view of many elderly constituents in Dundee, combining health and social work services currently funded and managed by local authorities and The National Health Service so that they provide a seamless service seems desirable.

 “But the devil will be in the detail. 

”Like the drafters of this report, I have concerns that democratic accountability to our council will be weakened without a wide range of elected member involvement in the new Health and Social Care Partnerships.  

”Convener, we are both local Councillors with a high proportion of older people in our constituency whose services will be affected by this proposed integration.

“I think our position, as Councillors, to intervene and influence those responsible when one of our constituents has a dispute about their integrated care looks as though it would be weakened and diminished.

“In order that this is not another example of remote and distant authority, I would have preferred if we had followed the Policing example and had reporting of the planning and performance of the Integrated Health and Community Care direct to this Policy and Resources Committee.

 “In addition I would urge that in our Council's response  question 6 (in the consultation) should be answered directly by saying that we are not in favour of a Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership combined with other local authority boundaries."

The Committee agreed to accept my proposal about responding to question 6 and senior social work officers agreed with my analysis about the potential negative effects of a lack of democratic accountability.