Letter: Joined up care

I am writing regarding the piece on the report of the Christie Commission (your report, 30 June) and in particular your assertion that the commission has recommended the NHS should be given responsibility for the delivery of social care.

You offer a curious and misleading interpretation of an excellent report on the future of public services in Scotland.

The report actually calls for local authorities and the Scottish Government to develop arrangements that support the integration of health and social care services, which Cosla is fully committed to. However, contrary to your reporting, it does not endorse one particular model for integration, nor does it call for the wholesale transfer of social care services to the NHS.

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The report calls for greater integration of services which should be flexible and built around the needs of people and communities. It acknowledges that there is work under way to explore different options and calls for any specific proposals emerging from this work to be assessed against key criteria for the reform of public services.

This describes a process for considering different options and assessing their merit; it does not equate to calling for one model across Scotland, or for the NHS to be in charge of all care for the elderly.

I'm sure you'll agree, therefore, that a more careful reading of the report fails to substantiate your reporting of it. We will continue to work with the NHS to design integrated health and social care services which meet local needs by delivering services in different ways, for different communities. Local government has a strong and legitimate stake in the future of social care; it's a shame that your report seems not to have recognised this.

(Cllr) Douglas Yates

COSLA Spokesperson for Health and Well-being

Haymarket Yards