Care services in Moray are forging ahead with proposals to ensure as many people as possible can live at home while receiving help.
New statistics have revealed that only 38% of adults with intensive needs receive assistance at home in the region – the national average is 62%.
Neighbouring region Highlands has a rate of 53% while Aberdeen City fares slightly higher with 55%.
However, Health and Social Care Moray expects its figure to increase in the coming years due to more focus being placed on supporting those with complex needs outside of hospitals and care homes.
Construction of a new £2.5million supported housing complex with 10 bungalows at Lhanbryde’s Urquhart Place is nearing completion.
The homes have been designed to replace the dated Maybank care home in Forres.
Six cottages on Elgin’s Victoria Road have also been brought into service this year following a £120,000 refurbishment.
The buildings, which flooded in 2002 and fell into disrepair after being abandoned, are intended to become halfway houses for patients leaving hospital before returning home.
The statistics are included in Health and Social Care Moray’s first annual report, following the formation of the partnership between the council and NHS Grampian.
Chief officer Pam Gowans said: “There are areas where performance is particularly positive and we aim to maintain this. For those areas where there is still work to be done, we are taking stock of our next steps.
“Finances are tight and challenging and there is a need for us to ensure we are working with people in our communities, so everyone has a chance to influence.”
The annual report has also revealed that Moray has a “better than average” health record against the Scottish average with less crime, homelessness, alcohol-related deaths and hospital admissions.
However, it has warned the region fares less well in terms of fuel poverty and equal access to services due to geography.
Christine Lester, chairwoman of the integrated joint board that oversees the organisation,affirmed she was “proud” of its first year in operation.
She said: “We are certain we will face difficult decisions to ensure our resources are used effectively and efficiently.
“However, the opportunity is great and we now have an excellent base on which to build a truly excellent community-focused health and social care system.”