Social care’s top civil servant warned that the next 12 months would be crucial for the sector’s partnerships with the NHS.
Department of Health director general for social care David Behan echoed concerns that partnerships had been compromised by the NHS financial crisis, with claims that PCTs and NHS trusts had shunted costs on to local authorities.
He said: “The paradox is that partnerships are important to the future but are as fragile in some places as they have been for some time. It’s important to have partnerships that are active in times of turmoil.”
He said if partnerships had not improved by this time next year the sector should be concerned.
However, Behan added that councils and PCTs had made progress on aligning performance frameworks across the two sectors. This follows last year’s white paper on health and social care which called for help to promote co-ordinated local strategies on improving well-being.