Minister puts heat on Scottish councils to form health partnerships

Local authorities have been told they must
form partnerships with health boards in Scotland or the executive
will intervene.

Henry, depute minister for health and community care, told social
work directors at the annual Association of Directors of Social
Work conference in Dunblane that they had an important role to play
in ensuring councils met their responsibilities under the “Joint
Futures” agenda and worked effectively with health

have got to demonstrate that you are equally able to deliver,”
Henry said. “It is about asking what we are doing locally to ensure
we are delivering our part of the bargain.

will not accept the status quo and we want to see results on Joint
Futures. Failure is not an option and we will take action if
necessary,” he added.

told delegates that health boards were being given the same firm
instructions, but there were areas where either the local authority
or the health board, or even both, were refusing to

who was formerly leader of East Renfrewshire Council, said he had
been frustrated when he was involved in local government by the
reluctance of health boards to release funds for projects run
jointly with local authorities.

local authorities had to overcome their historical reticence and
break down the barriers preventing the two sectors from delivering
services together, he said. If they failed to do that, the
executive would consider using its powers to intervene and force
the process as a “last resort”.

sought to reassure directors that the Scottish executive was not
considering the formation of new bodies, such as the care trusts in
England. “When we say partnership we mean partnership. This is not
about health taking over your responsibilities,” he

also warned local authorities not to spend money from the executive
earmarked for community care on other services.

are starting to look at outcome agreements very carefully,” he
said. “This is about a political commitment for care in the
community. We have to do our bit.”


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