Talking About Integration

(Some questions and answers)

Q1. What is integration?
A. On April 1st 2015 Argyll & Bute Community Health Partnership (CHP) and Argyll & Bute Council formed a new Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) in Argyll and Bute. Many people were already benefitting from integrated services for example from the Extended Community Care Teams, Dementia Teams, Learning Disability services, Mental Health services and the integrated Children’s services.

Q2. Why are we doing this?
A. The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 required all local authorities and Community Health Partnerships to form a new HSCP. In Argyll and Bute we are building on the very effective integrated work we already have in place and this will give us real opportunities to build and improve on the way we get things done so that people get an even better service. Integration is about high quality services for everyone.

Q3. What will be included?
A. All health services including planning and contracted services, together with all Adult Social Work and Children & Families Social Work.

Q4. Who will be in charge of things?
A.Christina West has been appointed as Chief Officer and is responsible to the Chief Executives of NHS Highland (Elaine Mead) and Argyll and Bute Council (Sally Loudon). The Chief Officer will also be responsible to the Integration Joint Board. There will be also be a new management structure put in place to make sure that the HSCP delivers improved outcomes for the people of Argyll and Bute.

Q5. So what difference will it make to me?
A. As we work together in the new HSCP we will do a number of things differently. First of all and most importantly, we want to put you at the centre of things. This means we’ll have to look at all of our processes and if they don’t make things any better for you we’ll stop doing them. We want you to have a stronger voice in the care you receive and to tell us how things are going for you.

There will be less duplication, with more integrated and co-located teams, working together to give you a seamless service. You have told us that what you really want is the right service, in the right place, at the right time. That’s what we want to deliver. Services in the future should look completely seamless, from your point of view. No gaps, no fuss, no duplication – just an excellent, high quality service.

Q6. Is this just a way of covering up cuts in services?
A. No, definitely not. This is about working together to avoid duplication of effort so we will be able to get better value for money and use our resources to better effect. There’s not a lot of money about, so nothing should be wasted.

Q7. Argyll and Bute has different areas with different needs, what are you going to do about this?
A. Localities are at the heart of integration and will become the ‘engine room’, driving forward changes and improvements. Because Argyll and Bute is such a large area, with lots of different communities in remote and rural locations, there are a variety of needs. For example people who live in Helensburgh may need and want very different services from people who live in Oban, or on one of the islands.

We will be setting up 7 locality planning groups to ensure that we are able to respond to local needs.

Q8. Do people get a say in all of this change?
A. Yes, of course. Through our work over many years, we have always involved our communities to ensure that their voice is heard, they are at the heart of what we do and help us make the right decisions. The Scottish Government does require us to involve and engage with our communities, but we would want to do it anyway! There will be lots of opportunities for people to say what they think, share their ideas, tell us what their fears are and what doesn’t work for them. Remember, your voice does count.

Q9. Where can I find out more?
A. There will be public and staff events across the various localities for people who want to come along and talk to us in October and November, to contribute to shaping the way services will be delivered in the future.

We know that not everyone can come to an event so if you have any questions then please feel free to email us at: and if you would like to find out the latest news on integration then visit our website at: