SFHA welcomes recognition of housing’s role in integration of health and social care agenda
Published by SFHA for Scottish Federation Of Housing Associations in Housing and also in Communities, Health
Commenting after yesterday’s (Tuesday 25 February) Stage 3 Proceedings of the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill (1), the Scottish Federation of Housing associations (SFHA) said that the Bill being passed marks a milestone in the integration of health and social care to ensure the Scottish Government’s vision that: “by 2020 everyone is able to live longer healthier lives at home, or in a homely setting” is realised. However, the Federation has urged that health boards and local authorities work with the housing sector in order for this to be achieved.
Mary Taylor, Chief Executive of the SFHA, said:
“We are pleased that Alex Neil as Cabinet Secretary for Health and Well-being has recognised the case for housing having a contribution to make in the health and social care integration agenda. We look forward to the consultation process regarding the national outcomes for health and wellbeing – these will become real as we develop our role in planning on these issues.
“If the Scottish Government’s vision for improvements in health and social care is to be achieved, it’s not just about the formal or partial integration of public bodies. We need to join up practice in the real world and housing needs to be part of that. The housing sector has a very real role to play in this vision and we look forward to working with other bodies in realising this.”
The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill requires health boards and local authorities to embark on the integration of health and social care services. The Bill comes out of Stage 3, amended with more reference to housing than was at Stage 1. Section 5 as revised gives power to Scottish Ministers by regulations to prescribe national outcomes in relation to health and wellbeing: such outcomes are to be known as “the national health and wellbeing outcomes”. Before making regulations, the Scottish Ministers must consult various organisations and interest groups before they prescribe national outcomes for health and wellbeing. Housing stakeholders have now been added to the list of persons whom the Scottish Ministers must consult.
The SFHA, on behalf of the Housing Co-ordinating Group (2), was pleased to receive a recent and specific commitment from the Health and Social Care Integration Directorate, concerning consultation with housing on strategic planning and locality planning guidance. The group is already preparing to support the housing sector to make these commitments a reality at a local scale.
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- The Housing Co-ordinating Group (HCG) consists of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations; Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers; Chartered Institute of Housing in Scotland; Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations; the Housing Support Enabling Unit; and Care and Repair Scotland. Together the Group makes a very significant contribution to national outcomes on health and well-being by:
- Co-ordinated strategic planning of the supply and quality of housing and related services across tenures and stages of life;
- Providing individuals with information and advice on housing options;
- Directly providing or facilitating, ‘fit for purpose’ housing for rent and for sale / part sale, that gives people choice and a suitable home environment;
- Providing local, personal, preventative services such as aids and adaptations, and care and repair or “handyperson” schemes ;
- Building capacity in local communities.
- The SFHA was established in 1976 and has around 116 members providing affordable housing and wider community services in Scotland, as well as a further 200 commercial members. The SFHA is owned by its membership and exists to support the work of housing associations and co-operatives in Scotland by providing services, advice and good practice guidance. www.sfha.co.uk
- The SFHA is the voice of the principal builders and managers of new affordable housing for rent in Scotland. Housing Associations own and manage around 40% of the country’s affordable rented housing stock, over a quarter of a million homes across Scotland.
- Housing associations and co-operatives are not-for-profit bodies regulated by the Scottish Housing Regulator.