NHS Alliance calls for joined-up approach from primary care trusts

Within three years, primary care trusts should
have special arrangements in place for asylum seekers, refugees,
single teenage mothers and isolated older people, according to the
primary care representative body the NHS Alliance.

In a
report published to coincide with primary care trusts taking on new
powers and control over resources to shape and commission services,
the organisation said tackling at PCT level the social factors that
cause ill-health required closer working with local communities to
identify priority target groups and “imaginative, joined-up
approaches across all the local agencies”.

priority target groups were agreed, PCTs should work with them to
identify their needs and involve them and all the other relevant
agencies in developing services, the report suggested.

with an already significant number of refugees and asylum seekers
should have by April 2005 advanced warning of any more likely to be
dispersed to the area, a named PCT lead who takes part in a
co-ordinated PCT approach, and a dedicated GP service or local
development scheme project with an agreed strategy “for moving
towards long-term integration rather than continuing

report, Vision in Practice, also calls for PCTs to develop
“tailored services” to meet the needs of single teenage mothers,
including establishing a systematic approach to supporting them
during and after pregnancy and de-stigmatising adolescent sexual
behaviour in order to improve uptake of contraception.

services departments, with the support of PCTs, should develop
strategies for addressing the needs of isolated older people,
including setting up a register of them to be shared across the
health and social care services, the report adds.

report is the third in a series by the NHS Alliance on implementing
the NHS Plan and the Shifting the Balance of Power report.
The organisation believes PCTs are the answer to creating a “more
agile, effective and locally sensitive service”. But it warns that
PCTs risk falling at the first hurdle if they are forced to inherit
health authorities’ debts and overspent NHS trusts’ commitments and

NHS Alliance is also concerned that the original aims of
commissioning are in danger of being lost unless “unified
commissioning” of secondary and primary care is

Vision in Practice is available to members from www.nhsalliance.org


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