Care and Support Minister commits to greater coordination

It’s a principle our members fully support and now the Government has shared plans to do more to ensure joined-up care, especially for older people.

Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb has made a number of commitments which aim to encourage health and social care agencies to work closer together.

The Government says it wants to make coordinated health and social care standard practice by 2018, with projects working towards this operational across England by 2015.

To achieve this they’re calling for ‘pioneer’ areas around the country to begin looking at innovative and practical approaches for coordination. Expressions of interest must be submitted by the end of June and pioneers will be confirmed by September.

The announcement is in response to research which shows the negative impact of uncoordinated care packages, including a national VOICES (views of informal carers for the evaluation of services) study which revealed 32 per cent of bereaved people felt hospitals did not work well with GPs and other community services.

Further, poorly coordinated care is estimated to cost the NHS around £370 million a year. Frail older people often experience delayed discharge from hospital because of problems arranging suitable care packages in the community – they’re also more likely to be heavy users of A&E because of gaps in their care package which lead to a deterioration in their condition.

The Minister said: “A more integrated health and care system will bring benefits to many people – better joined up care and support means a real difference to older people, those with long-term conditions like diabetes and to carers supporting their loved ones.”

You can read the framework document Integrated Care: Our Shared Commitment. Organisations interested in becoming pioneers can read the invite for expressions of interest.

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