The integration of health care and social care is a key issue for people who live with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. We are tackling that in several ways. In the next financial year, we will invest £2 million to support local partnerships with the integration agenda. We have set up a £70 million change fund to increase communities’ capacity to support people through partnerships between health care, social care and the third sector. Self-directed support has great potential to help people to integrate all the services that they need. That approach, of course, applies to people with Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s UK has long called for better links between health care and social care. If full integration is not planned, that will mean lead commissioning without statutory underpinning. How will the minister guarantee support for and access to services for all those who have Parkinson’s, regardless of their age?
The lead agency model is one model for fully integrating health care and social care, in which the council commissions the NHS to deliver social care under one system. As in the Highland area, discussions can take place about what the local authority may commission to be delivered. The basic point is that the outcome for service users and carers is that their services will be delivered under a single system.
I know that Labour takes a different position on the delivery model—it proposes a national care service—but I hope that we can agree that the outcomes for older people, people with Parkinson’s and people with other conditions are the most important thing. In my view, the outcomes will be best served by a single system and an integrated model.