Andy Burnham approves care trust for Blackburn with Darwen

Health secretary Andy Burnham has approved the creation of a “care trust plus” to integrate health and social care commissioning in Blackburn with Darwen.

The new organisation will start work on 1 April, replacing the current primary care trust NHS Blackburn with Darwen and taking over the adult and children’s social care commissioning functions currently held by Blackburn with Darwen Council.

Former council leader Bill Taylor has been appointed as chair of the organisation and is currently developing a shadow board to run the new body.

He said: “The people of Blackburn with Darwen face enormous inequalities and many will live a shorter life as a result than people in other parts of the northwest.

“By creating a care trust plus, the NHS and the council are showing great wisdom. They can join forces to tackle many of the causes of these inequalities by sharing resources and skills to provide a better service for some of the most vulnerable people in our community. I look forward to this collaborative approach.”

Care trusts with responsibility for commissioning health and adult social care exist in Northumberland, North East Lincolnshire, Solihull and Torbay, but none of these has responsibility for council children’s services.

There are also non-commissioning care trusts that provide mental health or learning disability services in Bradford, Camden and Islington, Manchester, Sheffield and Sandwell.

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