MSPs unanimously pass the Public Bodies Bill

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MSPs unanimously passed the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill after its stage 3 proceedings on 25 February 2014.

The legislation aims to increase the number of elderly patients being cared for at home instead of in hospitals, by integrating adult health & social care.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said: "The whole point - indeed, the only point - of integrating health and social care is to improve people's lives.

"Even as we debate this Bill, our focus is on improving outcomes for people who use health and social care services, today, across Scotland."

Mr Neil added: "The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill provides the legislative framework for integrating our health and social care services."

"By focussing on person-centred planning and delivery, this Bill helps to ensure joined-up, seamless health and social care provision that will improve people's lives."

Scottish Labour health spokesperson Neil Findlay said the bill missed the "real issues facing social care in the here and now".

These included a "home care social care system based on the minimum wage", "a recruitment crisis and staff morale on the floor" and care visits limited to 15 minutes or as low as seven minutes, said Mr Findlay.

The proportion of people in Scotland who are aged 75 and over will rise by 80% by 2035, with the 2011 census showing that for the first time there were more people aged over 65 than under the age of 15.

The new legislation would see NHS and local authority budgets integrated to pay for improved care in the community.

Scottish Conservative public health spokesperson Nanette Milne said her party supported the bill and that she was pleased the health secretary had taken on board a number of suggestions from stakeholders.

MSPs earlier debated and voted on amendments to the bill, which can be viewed below:

Public Bodies Bill amendments

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