In a report intended to influence the Scottish Government’s health and sport budget, the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee are critical about lack of progress by Integration Authorities (IAs). Between them IAs are responsible for spending over £8bn yet the Committee reports they are unable to identify what that money has achieved.
The Committee asks the Scottish Government to report on how this spending is evaluated and asks for assurances that changes will be made in future years. The Committee expresses concern about lack of progress in how a promised shift in the balance of care is being delivered. In its wide ranging report, the Committee criticises a lack of leadership within the Integration Authorities and is calling for longer term budget planning.
Commenting on the report findings, Convener of the Health and Sport Committee, Neil Findlay MSP said:
“There’s a distinct lack of data to identify and evaluate outcomes, including spending and savings. This would be unacceptable for any public money let alone over £8bn. It needs rectifying immediately and a mechanism for facilitating scrutiny of performance, spend and savings put in place.
“We have identified some of the challenges faced by IAs including areas such as the setting of budgets, measuring the outcomes of their investment and shifting resource to deliver transformational change in health and social care. These are issues the Committee has returned to several times in the last two years and its vital each IA immediately tackles and delivers on these challenges.
“We are concerned bureaucracy has increased allowing different agencies to blame each other for the lack of progress with integration. We are recommending in our report to the Government that leadership is needed from the Chief Officers of each IA to deliver value for the public purse, the necessary changes we highlight along with the promised transformation in the way these vital services are delivered”.