NHS Lothian is looking at innovative ways of working together with other public bodies to help drive down costs.
In a paper due to go before NHS Lothian’s board of directors today (Wed), the health board has outlined plans to start working closer with other public bodies to cut expenditure.
Proposals could include shared premises and catering to help public sector organisations benefit from shared costs.
Closer working relationships between public sector organisations will help to reduce costs, decrease the duplication of work, and demonstrate a more joined up working approach.
Prof Alex McMahon, acting director of Strategic Planning and Modernisation, NHS Lothian, said: “Working more closely with our public sector partners will help us to reduce our costs, while enabling us to build closer working relationships.
“Increased partnership working in the public sector can help us to pool our resources and benefit from shared costs, which will help all public sector organisations to further enhance the services they provide.”
As part of the draft plans, consideration may be given to creating a shared Community Health Partnership (CHP) for East and Midlothian.
Closer working between local health boards such as NHS Borders, NHS Fife and NHS Forth Valley is also being looked at to help to reduce spending.
The plans could expand on a number of examples of partnership working which are already in place, including the use of the laundry at St John’s Hospital for all four Lothian council Community Laundry Services, and the use of the Edinburgh Community Equipment Service to support residents of Edinburgh, Midlothian and East Lothian.
A proposal is already being explored to locate the Edinburgh Community Health Partnership (CHP) management team at Edinburgh Council’s headquarters at Waverley Court, a similar arrangement to West Lothian where Community Health and Care Partnership (CHCP) staff are based at West Lothian Council’s headquarters.
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