Section 4: Partnership working
In order to meet our long term ambition we need a comprehensive delivery plan that sets out a clear and common aim to eradicate fuel poverty that all our partners - across local and national government; across business and industry; and across the third sector - can sign up to working towards. Our national partners, including COSLA, Energy Saving Trust ( EST), energy companies and NHS Scotland, will be working collaboratively with local authorities and third sector organisations to maximise the effectiveness of our delivery mechanisms and to strengthen the bonds between policies.
Local partners will be crucial to successfully eradicating fuel poverty. We already collaborate with COSLA and local authorities to deliver our HEEPS: Area-Based Schemes; and through HES, delivered on our behalf by the EST, we are reaching more third sector and frontline organisations than ever before. We also provide funding for low carbon projects through the Climate Challenge Fund, which includes supporting projects that deliver energy efficiency advice and support in relation to fuel poverty at a local level. These partnerships will have an ongoing role in helping to identify those most in need and to support them into a better quality of life. We are already testing new ways of forging closer partnerships with local health and social care organisations through our rural HES Homecare pilot which is providing locally based in-depth support to vulnerable householders. These new and existing partnerships make reaching the most vulnerable people more efficient, particularly in remote and rural areas.
But we know we need to do more. We are very supportive of locally led, collaborative approaches that provide partners with opportunities to align their collective resources in more effective and efficient ways to improve outcomes in tackling fuel poverty.
Local partners can also use community planning as a vehicle in which to collaborate, especially where action to address fuel poverty can support related themes which a Community Planning Partnership ( CPP) identifies as local priorities.
Health services in Scotland are a vital link to individuals who are most in need. The Chief Medical Officer has already asked that all NHS Boards plan and deliver hospital services that ensure routine enquiries for vulnerability are built into person-centred care so that those at risk of poverty or inequality attain the best possible health outcomes. This was followed up more recently with a joint letter from Ministers in the health and housing portfolios to NHS Chief Executives to encourage more collaborative working that will help mitigate the impacts of fuel poverty on health and wellbeing.
5) Please give us your views on how national partners and local delivery organisations can work better together to identify and support those at risk of, or experiencing fuel poverty? What would best support, or enable such partnerships?
6) What can local partners do to contribute to meeting national aims of effectively and sustainably tackling fuel poverty? This might include sharing best practice or developing strategic approaches.
7) How can SG support local delivery partners (e.g. third sector organisations and social enterprises) to measure their success?
We are often told that the one-stop-shop approach, that HES delivers, is crucial for a smooth customer journey. However, we are mindful of our collective responsibility to ensure that individuals receive good quality advice and support - whether they are seeking advice about income or lifestyle changes they can make, or are receiving physical energy efficiency measures through delivery programmes. We want all consumers to have confidence in the service they receive no matter where they live in Scotland, and in our reporting we want to reflect the success of outcomes delivered at local level as well as successes through our national programmes. We also recognise that smaller organisations can find it a burden to undertake regular, in-depth, reporting on the outcomes they have achieved and that it can be challenging to balance resources to deliver a service with those needed to fulfil reporting requirements.
8) How can the Scottish Government best support local or community level organisations to accurately
b. report on; and
c. ensure quality of
provision of advice and support services and their outcomes?
9) How can the one-stop-shop approach be enhanced for the benefit of HES clients; and in particular,
a. Are there any improvements that you think can be made to the HES service to further enable it to best reach the most vulnerable to fuel poverty client groups?