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Bill to improve care for Cumbernauld's ageing population

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 21:51 GMT on Thursday, May 30th, 2013.

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CUMBERNAULD elderly residents, in need of care at home could soon see better services delivered to them, after Health Secretary Alex Neil announced a new bill designed to ensure that the health and social care systems work together effectively to improve the provision of care in our communities was published, yesterday.

Recent figures show the proportion of people in Scotland who are aged over 75 will rise by 80 per cent by 2035 and the 2011 census shows us that, for the first time, there are more people in Scotland aged over 65 than there are under 15.

The new bill will help Scotland cope with the increasing pressures by reducing unnecessary delays that keep older people in hospital longer than needed and increasing the amount of care that can be provided at home, the Health Secretary has said.

Commenting, Health Secretary Alex Neil said that people living longer was “good news”, but he added that public services has to “adapt” in order to face the “challenges” 

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The MSP for Airdrie and Shotts added: “People in Scotland are living longer, healthier lives – which is good news. But it also means that services need to adapt in order to meet the challenges of a rapidly ageing population.

“That means providing greater levels of care can be provided at home or in a homely setting and ensuring that our older people are not stuck in hospital longer than they need to be.

“The publication of this bill is a major step forward in public service reform, and integrating NHS and local authority budgets will help to reduce these delays.

“Bringing health and social care together in this way improve care for people in communities, helping to anticipate their needs and reaching them before they need to be admitted to hospital or institutional care.

“Local integrated arrangements between Health Boards and Councils will be able to shape services to best meet the care needs of their local populations.

“This will improve the quality and consistency of care for older people and people with complex care needs.”

The joined up approach is already working well in some areas of Scotland, with the ‘Hospital at Home’ initiative – which enables 80 per cent of patients to stay in their home rather than being admitted to hospital, was initially piloted by North Lanarkshire Partnership; being so successful that it is to be adapted for use across Scotland, with NHS boards and their local authority partners trialling similar models.

The bill is known as the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill.

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