The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 provides the legislative framework for the integration of health and social care services in Scotland.
- It requires local authorities and health boards to integrate adult health and social care services – including some hospital services. It also provides the option locally to add-in children’s services, criminal justice and additional hospital based services.
- The legislation requires Health Boards and Local Authorities to establish formal partnership arrangements to oversee the integration of services. Like most partnership areas, this has been done in the Western Isles through the creation of an Integration Joint Board (IJB), which is a partnership body designed to take decisions about how to invest resources and deliver services.
- The IJB is not an organisation which employs members of staff but it does have the authority to direct the two parent bodies – the Health Board and Local Authority – about how it wants integrated services to be delivered.