Joining up local health and care services to improve outcomes

Bath and North East Somerset Council and NHS Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are set to take an important step forward to further join up the delivery of local health and care services to improve outcomes for the people of B&NES.

At November’s Council Cabinet (8 November) and CCG Board (9 November) health and social care commissioners will present plans to improve existing joint working arrangements.  They are seeking agreement for a future joint governance and decision-making framework and to undertake more detailed work to further join up the delivery of NHS-provided health and Council-provided (social) care services.

The Council and CCG’s two-year review of local community services your care, your way (2014-2016) highlighted how people would like to see services better coordinated around the individual so the right care is offered at the right time and in the right place. The decision to be taken by Cabinet and CCG Board next month is an important step forward to achieving that vision. The plans are also in response to the changing needs of the local population, challenging budgets and to ensure services are sustainable in the longer term. By joining up the delivery of services, more of the local health and care budgets can be pooled and commissioners will be able to plan and deliver services for local people more effectively.

Currently the Council and CCG already commission together mental health and substance misuse, community services, learning difficulties and children’s services.

Cllr Tim Warren, Leader of the Council said; “The standard of health and care provision in B&NES is very good and we have a highly skilled and committed workforce doing a fantastic job caring for local people. The Council and CCG have worked successfully together for several years and strengthening those joint commissioning arrangements is the sensible next step to enhance health and care services for everyone.  Greater integration in the delivery of health and social care services will improve outcomes for those people receiving these services.”

He added; “The Council and CCG have reviewed similar projects happening in other parts of the UK and drawn on several years of experience of joint commissioning to develop these plans.”

Dr Ian Orpen, Clinical Chair at the CCG and local GP said; “People are living longer and that is of course a good thing. But an ageing population and more people living with complex conditions means there is increased pressure on services.  The Council and CCG’s health and care budgets are not able to keep pace with this demand so we need to make changes to the way we deliver services.  Our plans for integration are an important step forward towards achieving more sustainable health and care provision whilst also ensuring improved health and wellbeing outcomes for the people of B&NES.”

Dr Orpen co-chairs the Health and Wellbeing Board where these plans will also be reviewed in public on Wednesday 25 October ahead of being submitted to Council Cabinet and CCG Board for approval on 8 and 9 November respectively.