Community care services can be improved if the Department of Health
allows them to forge a strong partnership with the NHS, according
to a government report.
Over the past few years, the government has been trying to develop
a strategic partnership between the NHS and care organisations to
provide improved services for patients.
A key plank of this agreement would be a national forum to monitor
“It should be an organisation with teeth – not just a talking
shop,” says the report.
“It should set a work plan which is widely shared and provide
feedback on progress.”
Dianne Leyland, director of development and policy at the National
Association of Councils for Voluntary Service, said the agreement
was a “great statement of commitment”, but added that it must be
backed up with action at local level.
Care organisations have insisted they must be equal partners with
the NHS for funding, decision-making and planning if the
relationship is to work, the report says.
A spokesperson said the DoH would begin recruiting members this
year for the multi-stakeholder forum.
This group will be the channel through which a concordat will be
finalised between the DoH and community and voluntary sector
providers, she said.
The report was the government’s response to a nationwide
consultation on a partnership between the DoH, the NHS and the
voluntary and community sector.
– Making Partnership Work: A Response from www.dh.gov.uk/assetRoot/04/08/66/33/04086633.pdf