Patients benefit from joint council and trust working

Joint working between a Devon care trust and council enabled 30% more care packages to be in place within 28 days of assessment.

David Stout: Streamlined, joined-up services work better for patients

An Audit Commission report published today found that closer ties between Torbay Care Trust and Torbay Council meant that users can now access services more quickly and more urgent intermediate care cases now see a therapist within four hours.

Staff invented ‘Mrs Smith', a fictional older person with health and social care needs, and used her as an example to see how they catered for her needs.

Despite citing the Torbay success, the Audit Commission report ‘Means to an End: Joint Financing Across Health and Social Care' says it is hard to show whether joint financing has led directly to improvement.

Michael O'Higgins, Audit Commission chairman, said: ‘Councils and their healthcare partners must agree what they want to achieve through joint funding. Pooling funds can secure improved services for patients and those in need of social care, but often the acute financial arrangements can become the focus of attention.

'Joint funding should not be happening just for the sake of it. But there are success stories, and councils and the NHS can also achieve better value for money this way, which should be an added incentive with the financial squeeze ahead.'

David Stout, director of the NHS Confederation's Primary Care Network, said: ‘The concept of joint working has many merits, but it is not without its challenges and will not suit all organisations. Where joint health and social care can be implemented successfully, it can be highly beneficial in providing a more streamlined, joined-up service.'

Editor's blog: Why don't councils and health trusts work more closely?



Neil Durham

GP Online recommends

Audit Commission

Read more

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

BMA Scotland GP committee chair Dr Andrew Buist

'Disappointing' uplift falls short of 6% pay rise promised to GPs in Scotland

A 'disappointing' uplift to contract funding worth £60.4m in 2023/24 will not deliver...

Person selecting medicine in a dispensary

Dispensing GPs demand funding overhaul to ensure services remain viable

Dispensing doctors have demanded improved representation in GP contract negotiations,...

GP consultation room

GPs seeing cases of malnutrition and rickets as cost-of-living crisis hits patient health

Three quarters of GPs are seeing a rise in patients with problems linked to the cost-of-living...

Female GP listening to a patient

What GPs need to know about changes to Good Medical Practice

Dr Udvitha Nandasoma, the MDU’s head of advisory services, explains what GPs need...

Dr Caroline Fryar

Viewpoint: Doctors should be given protected time to digest Good Medical Practice

There's a lot for doctors to digest in the GMC's Good Medical Practice update before...

MIMS Learning Clinical Update podcast

MIMS Learning Clinical Update podcast explores the ‘defining issue of our age’

The latest episode of the MIMS Learning Clinical Update podcast features an interview...