Local authorities and HIV

Too often, when it comes to HIV, the focus is placed solely on the NHS. To tackle this, we've developed this section to give some key information about the role of local authorities in relation to HIV.

Take a look at the sections below, or download all the key information as a series of briefing sheets [PDF - 337kB] if you prefer.

Local authorities: structure and funding

Local government in Scotland is organised into 32 local authorities, which are responsible for providing a range of public services in the local area, such as education, social work, community care, housing and promoting social inclusion.

Read detail about the structure and funding of local authorities, or download the information as a briefing sheet [PDF - 35kB].

Local authorities: service design and delivery

Local authorities use a range of methods - including mechanisms like managed care networks and drug and alcohol partnerships - to plan services relevant to HIV.

Read detail about how local authorities design and deliver services relevant to HIV, or download the information as a briefing sheet [PDF - 48kB].

Role of local authorities in relation to HIV

The Scottish Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Framework sets out national policy on sexual health and wellbeing, HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B. It prioritises joint-working between organisations and includes a number of recommendations specifically aimed at local authorities. The national framework also stresses that local authorities should recognise (and be recognised for) the role they have in preventing blood borne viruses and supporting those living with them.

Read detail about the role of local authorities in relation to HIV or download the information as a briefing sheet [PDF - 39kB].

Single outcome agreements and HIV

All local authorities in Scotland have single outcome agreements, setting out how they will work towards improving outcomes for local people in a way that reflects local circumstances and priorities.

Read detail about single outcome agreements and HIV, including a review of the degree to which HIV and sexual health is covered in them, or download the information as a briefing sheet [PDF - 36kB].

Services for people living with or at risk of HIV

Local authorities provide a range of services specifically relating to sexual health and blood borne viruses, as well as more general services to support health and wellbeing that can be accessed by people living with or at risk of HIV.

Read detail about the type of services local authorities provide, and how many do so, or download the information as a briefing sheet [PDF - 66kB].

HIV prevention and local authorities

Local authorities see their work as contributing to two key areas of HIV prevention: testing and education. Some local authorities either provide or fund HIV testing services, and do so in a range of ways. They are also responsible for Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood Education in schools, and while guidance on the content of this exists, HIV content is not compulsory and can vary.

Read detail about the role of local authorities in preventing HIV, or download the information as a briefing sheet [PDF - 39kB].

Local authorities and HIV care and support

Local authorities play a role in the care and support of people living with HIV in a range of ways, including: identifying individual care and support needs; undertaking care assessments; providing direct social work services; and referring people to third sector services. This work is delivered in different ways across different local authorities, with some having specific blood borne virus teams, and others using more generic services.

Read detail about the role of local authorities in care and support for people living with HIV or download the information as a briefing sheet [PDF - 41kB].

Challenges for local authorities

For the last five years councils have had to cope with managing austerity, reducing resources, increasing demand for services, and ever increasing public expectations. They also city difficulties in identifying the needs and engaging communities, and staff training and development around HIV.

Read detail about the challenges local authorities face around HIV and related services, or download the information as a briefing sheet [PDF - 73kB].

Integration of health and social care

In Scotland health and social care for adults is being 'integrated'. This process is underway and will result in radical changes to how acute and community health services - as well as social care services - are planned, funded and delivered. Integration means that the expertise and resources of adult health and social care services will be combined and plans made jointly, from the perspective of those using services.

Read detail about the integration of health and social care, or download the information as a briefing sheet [PDF - 196kB].

Self-directed support

Self-directed support is a new mechanism that aims to allow people to exercise an informed choice about how their support is provided to them. The law on this area now requires local authorities to give people a range of options for how their social care is delivered, and decide how much ongoing control and responsibility they want over their own support arrangements. Local authority staff state that this will have significant implications for the way in which services are planned and commissioned, and could affect people living with and at risk of HIV.

Read detail about self-directed support or download the information as a briefing sheet [PDF - 35kB].

Find out more

Download the HIV Scotland briefing sheets [PDF - 337kB] on all these topics, read the HIV Scotland report 'Making the Vision a Reality' for recommendations on improvements and changes in services, or contact HIV Scotland for more information or to discuss the role of local authorities in relation to HIV.