Health and social care fund oversubscribed, partnership says

The future of the Bute Elderly Befrienders project has been secured until at least July 2016.
The future of the Bute Elderly Befrienders project has been secured until at least July 2016.

A government fund for local health projects in Argyll and Bute was hugely over-subscribed, according to the area’s new health and social care partnership.

Funding of £800,000 was set aside for local projects from a total of £1.84 million provided to the Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) by the Scottish Government.

Ninety bids, totalling £2.6 million, were submitted by projects hoping to secure a chunk of that £800,000, with one of the schemes to miss out being the Bute Elderly Befrienders initiative.

As we reported last week, that scheme faces closure by the end of January after its bid to the ICF was unsuccessful.

That £800,000 was divided among four ‘localities’ in Argyll and Bute, with £200,000 each going to Cowal and Bute, Helensburgh and Lomond, Mid Argyll, Kintyre and Islay, and Oban, Lorn and the Isles.

The names of the projects which were successful, and the amounts they received, have not yet been made public, but we have asked the HSCP for the information and will publish it when it’s received.

The rest of the £1.84m will be used to tackle a range of subjects across the area, including the management and prevention of falls, greater use of new technology to help patients with health-related issues, assisting and empowering patients to manage their illnesses and helping people regain the ability to look after themselves.

A spokesperson for the HSCP said: “The standard and number of bids received was high and the HSCP would like to thank all of the groups who took time to prepare and submit applications.

“A prioritisation process was required to review the bids and the HSCP in each of the four localities set up a panel of local stakeholders including representatives from the HSCP, Argyll and Bute Council, the Third Sector Interface, Scottish Care and local service users.

“The panels conducted a fair, transparent and rigorous selection process informed from guidance provided from the Scottish Government against criteria including co-production of services, value for money, innovation, partnership and the sustainability of the bids.

“All applicants have now been informed of the decision made and provided with feedback from the panel.”

Referring to the projects on which the lion’s share of the £1.84 million will be spent, the spokesperson said: “These initiatives are aimed at supporting and delivering the HSCP vision that ‘people in Argyll and Bute will live longer, healthier, independent lives’ and to achieve this we need to see a shift in the balance of care from reactive to preventative anticipatory care with a focus on health and wellbeing.

“All of these services will now be evaluated on what they deliver for our communities with regard to achieving our vision to help us direct funding in future years.

“Once again the HSCP would like to thank all of the groups who submitted bids and would like to remind those that were unsuccessful that there will be further opportunities to apply for this funding in future years.”