Leading Housing Associations call for close working relationships with new Scottish health and social care boards
Three of Scotland’s leading housing associations, Bield, Hanover (Scotland) and Trust Housing Associations, have combined to write to all of the newly established integrated joint health and social care boards in Scotland to highlight the savings and benefits that could be made by working in greater partnership with housing associations.
They are calling on the new integrated boards to work in partnership with them to develop the next generation of housing and services for older people. From 1st April the 31 new integrated boards will be up and running and developing services across their localities. Appropriate housing, particularly for older people, has been identified by practically all of the new boards as playing an important role in reducing pressures on hospital services and enabling people to continue to live fulfilling lives in their communities.
Bield, Hanover (Scotland) and Trust are the three largest Scottish providers of housing, care and support services for older people. With developments across Scotland, they have modernised housing developments for older people, developed specialist services and adapted homes so people can live longer in their own homes. The integration of health and social care through the new Health and Social Care Partnerships creates an ideal opportunity to bring the work of health boards, local authorities and the housing sector closer together to meet the needs of older people and help deliver a more efficient and effective service based on the needs of the individual and their local community.
Brian Logan, Chief Executive of Bield said: “With the new integrated boards now up and running we are calling for the boards to meet with housing providers to work up truly integrated partnerships that can deliver better services on the ground, reduce the strain on hospital services and help save money. Through a new partnership approach, we are confident that we can develop the next generation of housing and services for older people that meets the aspirations and aims of the new integrated boards.
Rhona McLeod, Chief Executive of Trust Housing Association stressed: “Housing Associations, like Bield, Hanover and Trust have a huge amount of experience of delivering services and appropriate housing for older people. Through our adaptations programme, combined with individually tailored packages of support, we have demonstrated that there are significant financial savings to be made through helping people stay in their own homes rather than living in long term care.’’
Helen Murdoch, Chief Executive of Hanover (Scotland) Housing Association added: “Bield, Hanover and Trust want to build on existing good practice of co-locating health services, such as GP surgeries, with specialised housing provision for older people. We have developed a number of innovative models that reduce the healthcare needs of older people and ensure that they have easy access to the services they need. Now is the time for the new integrated boards to talk to the housing sector about a genuine partnership approach for the benefit of older people in our communities.”