Lack of joint working between health and social services
departments continues to hamper the effectiveness of care for
long-term conditions, according to professionals.
Written responses to the consultation on the national service
framework for long-term conditions highlight multi-disciplinary
working and a general skills shortage in hospitals, primary care
trusts and social services departments as the main issues that need
to be addressed. The consultation ended last week.
In his response, Mike Hope, brain injury co-ordinator at the
Raphael Medical Centre in Kent, said professional boundaries
between NHS and social care staff were “totally unhelpful” and
called for “a lead person across both, joint specialist staff teams
and broader training”.
Buckinghamshire Neurological Alliance’s Jenny Henderson said the
care system for continuing care clients needed to be streamlined so
that fewer professionals were involved and interaction between them
Only new structures and specialist posts jointly commissioned by
PCTs and social services would provide a seamless service, agreed
acquired brain injury co-ordinator at West Sussex Council, Mark
However, professor Michael Kopelman, of the South London and
Maudsley NHS Trust, warned of a shortage of neuropsychologists,
occupational therapists, nursing staff and social workers with
brain injury experience “in most, if not all, NHS trusts and social
The submissions will be used by the external reference group to
shape its recommendations and accompanying guidance on the NSF, due
to be put to ministers in the spring.
– Consultation responses from www.doh.gov.uk/nsf/longterm