Once in a generation opportunity to shape health and social care

Following months of planning, health and social care partnerships become a reality from today. 

The Partnership in Aberdeenshire is overseen by a joint board of Aberdeenshire Council and NHS Grampian and will have a budget of around £270m for this financial year.

The aim of integration is to provide a seamless response to everyone who uses the service and to build on the great work which is currently carried out across Aberdeenshire.

It will also strengthen the partnership with local communities and third sector to support the people in Aberdeenshire to be happier, healthier and to live independently for as long as possible.

Adam Coldwells, Chief Officer of Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership said: “This is a once in a generation opportunity to shape the future delivery of adult health and social care services in Aberdeenshire. It will not, however, mean that everything simply changes overnight. This is a journey and one that is only just beginning

“In due course, it will mean altering some of the things we’ve done in the past and, as we’ve already seen in many areas, it will also see teams coming together from right across the spectrum of care to deliver joined up care.

“With changing population we need to make changes to have less admissions to hospital and residential care. We want to work with individuals and communities to take on different approaches to allow people to live longer healthier lives, delaying or even preventing the need for care.

“We owe it to the people we care for to ensure that we are delivering the best, most efficient and effective services possible in Aberdeenshire.”

As the Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership develops doctors, hospitals, health workers, social work staff, carers and partners from the voluntary sector will work side-by-side at a local level to put the person's needs at the heart of the decision making.

There will be 20 local teams across Aberdeenshire who will be able to take a more co-ordinated approach to the way services are delivered.

Working as a single local team, much of the assessment of need will be carried out by a single person, avoiding a number of people from different organisations and profession visiting to make their own assessment. 

Adam Coldwells added: “By working together, we can more easily identify those who are most at risk of going into hospital and we can put together a combined package of care, support and lifestyle advice designed to keep people healthier and living independently for longer.”

One of the first decisions taken by the new Partnership was to introduce Virtual Community Wards to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions. The Partnership has also agreed to roll out Dementia Friendly Communities and the Enablement service across Aberdeenshire following successful pilots.