Scottish health and social care plan 'struggling'

Government not delivering on integrated care plan to help people live longer at home, says RCN Scotland director

The Scottish health and care system is failing to deliver on a key national policy of integrated care that enables people to live longer at home, the RCN’s Scotland director has said. 

Figures published by NHS Scotland today show the split in the country's spending on health and social care remained unchanged from 2010/11 to 2013/14 – NHS spending accounts for 72% and social care 28%. 

The RCN in Scotland says this contradicts the Scottish government’s 2020 Vision healthcare strategy, which aspires to integrated health and social care and people living ‘longer, healthier lives at home, or in a homely setting’ by 2020.

The report shows that of £4.8 billion spent on health and social care in 2013/14, £1.45 billion was for unplanned hospital admissions for people aged over 65.

RCN Scotland director Theresa Fyffe said: ‘The figures reveal a health and care system that, despite the best efforts of nurses and others on the frontline, is struggling to deliver a key national policy.

‘A colossal £1.45 billion is being spent on older people ending up in hospital. While some of these cases will be emergency admissions for things like strokes and falls, others could have been prevented if adequate care was in place at home and in communities.’ 

Ms Fyffe said the government needs to take a ‘whole systems approach to ensure health and care services are sustainable and that care is genuinely designed around the needs of patients and the public, at home and in communities wherever possible’.

A Scottish government spokesperson said: 'The data has been available to health and social care partnerships for some time. It will support the development of strategic commissioning plans for health and social care, which will focus on shifting the balance of care and enabling people to stay in their own homes and communities for as long as possible.'

Read a summary of the NHS Scotland figures here


This is a free article for registered users

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this? You can register for free access.