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SCOTS MINISTER SAYS JOINT ACTION AT HEART OF COMMUNITY CARE

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Joint working lies at the heart of the successful implementation ...
Joint working lies at the heart of the successful implementation

of community care policy.

That was the message from Scottish health and social work minister Sam Galbraith in a recent speech to the

Scottish Housing with Support Conference.

'I place great store in effective joint working. We are all too familiar with cases of people falling between agency responsibilities, of funding packages becoming unstuck, of planning partners having unrealistic expectations, of agreed timescales for action not being met. In these cases, it is rarely an agency which suffers. Instead, and we must never forget it, it is the person requiring

the service who suffers. It is our duty to make sure that this happens as rarely as possible.

'Joint working has improved significantly since the community

care reforms were introduced. There is much still to be done and we

should not become complacent.

'I am committed to ensuring that agencies work better, both

individually and, more importantly, collectively. I will continue to

encourage improvements in this.

'But the ultimate responsibility rests with you - with local

authorities, health boards and housing agencies, together with

providers. I look to you to ensure that people - most of whom are

vulnerable and rely on you to make a difference to their lives - gain

from joint working across the community care spectrum.

'I hope what I have said gives you an indication of the

government's commitment to community care. It is a complex policy

area and many vulnerable people are relying on us getting it right.

Working together effectively is crucial to the task.'

Mr Galbraith also commented:

'The government recognise the importance of properly planned

care, support and accommodation that is required to facilitate

successful discharge of patients from hospital.

'The growth in community-based support services and in

housing for vulnerable individuals and groups have assisted the

government's aims of supporting people at home where that is their

choice and, of course, where that is best for them.

'Our position on discharges from hospital care is unaltered.

'No patient should be discharged from NHS continuing care

unless alternative care, accommodation and support services are

available and properly resourced.'

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