A newly-formed body which will manage a budget of £19.1 million and oversee a range of services including primary health care and dentistry held its inaugural meeting on Monday.
The Integration Joint Board was formally constituted on 27th June, and it will sit between the council and NHS Shetland.
Monday’s meeting was described by chairman Cecil Smith as an “exciting” and “historic” occasion.
The council and the health board have each appointed three voting members of the IJB – the three council members are Mr Smith, Gary Cleaver and Billy Fox, and the three from the health board are non-executive directors Catriona Waddington, who was appointed vice-chairwoman of the IJB, Keith Massey and Marjorie Williamson.
Co-opted non-voting members representing different areas will also sit on the IJB. Chief officer will be director of health and community care Simon Bokor-Ingram, and chief financial officer will be NHS Shetland head of finance Karl Williamson.
Senior clinicians and professional advisers will comprise GP Susan Bowie, Dr Jim Unsworth, representing a clinician practising in an acute setting, lead community nurse Edna Mary Watson and chief social work officer Martha Nicolson. Staff representatives will be Suzanne Gens, from the SIC employees joint consultative committee, and Ian Sandilands from the NHS area partnership forum.
The IJB will also have “stakeholder” representatives, with nominations sought from their respective organisations and approved at the meeting. The patient and service user representative will be Harold Massie, chairman on the Public Partnership Forum, the carers’ representative from the Carers’ Link Group will be Sue Beer, and the third sector representative will be Catherine Hughson, chief executive officer of Voluntary Action Shetland.
The IJB in Shetland will work towards its stated aims of “tackling inequalities by ensuring the needs of the most vulnerable and hard to reach groups are met and services are targeted at those most in need, people are supported to be active and independent throughout adulthood and in older age and [people are enabled] to live longer healthier lives.”
Mr Smith said the council and NHS Shetland had been working successfully together for many years. He said: “Both organisations will come together, work together and deliver for the people of Shetland.” Services would continue as normal, he added.
Mrs Waddington said the “long-term demographic” [of increasing numbers of older people] would require a service change,and the integration of services, which is happening nationally throughout Scotland as well as locally, would ensure it happened smoothly.
The IJB will manage a budget of £19.1 million to oversee a range of services including primary health care and dentistry, and will also be able to view the budget of the acute services, that is, the Gilbert Bain Hospital.
Now that the IJB has been established, the community health partnership will cease, and the social services committee will be disbanded shortly.