NHS link-ups ‘key to service delivery’

    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
    service delivery.

    “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 

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