Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership Integration Joint Board (IJB) , on Friday 29 March, agreed a budget plan for 2019/20.

While the 2019/20 financial position is described as “challenging”, the partnership is receiving a net growth in its resources through additional specific investment into primary care, mental health and carers.

All of these areas support the delivery of the priorities set out within the Strategic and Commissioning Plan.

In addition, the IJB agreed additional funding to go towards Protecting People, the implementation of the Carers Act, and for care services provided by third sector organisations.

Chair of the Integration Joint Board Trudy McLeay said: “We approached this year’s budget with the over-arching aim of protecting public services and maintaining our investment in the partnership’s priorities.

“We are committed to tackling health inequalities, focusing more on early intervention and prevention, ensuring people can access services and support as close to home as possible, and for people to live more independently at home for longer.”

Following the passing of the so-called Frank’s Law, named after former Dundee United football player Frank Kopel, over £800,000 is expected to be received from the Scottish Government to support the implementation of free personal care for under 65s.

Ms McLeay continued: “We are continuing with preparations for the introduction of Frank’s Law and are working to make the uptake of this as smooth as possible.”

The budget enables the delivery of support and services in line with the partnership’s Strategic and Commissioning Plan 2019- 2022.

This plan sets out an ambitious three year change programme to improve the health and wellbeing of people across the city.

A key aim of the plan is to focus on moving resources from hospitals to community based care, in order to provide easily accessed more personal support, closer to home.

Ms McLeay added: “We are confident that we can achieve positive transformational change needed to improve the health and wellbeing of citizens of Dundee.

“Over the course of the plan we are aiming to have fewer people access hospital acute services, we want citizens to receive support in the locations they want and we want the health and social care inequality gap reduced.”

Both the budget and the plan recognise and respond to the changing patterns of demand for health and social care and the different environments in which services will be delivered.

Savings of £5.4 million have been made in order to move towards delivering a balanced budget of £235.1 million.

There remains a funding gap of £500,000, however there are still a number of areas to be confirmed in relation to the NHS budget which are likely to have an impact on the IJB’s net funding position.

The IJB will be updated with confirmation of the impact and any further budget savings to be considered.