Health services may switch to councils

Councils may take over functions now carried out by primary care
trusts under reforms to health and social care.

In an interview with Community Care, care services minister Liam
Byrne also backed the principle of councils and PCTs sharing the
same boundaries. And he suggested that money saved for the NHS by
preventive social care could be recycled into local authority

On government plans to divest PCTs of their role in providing
services, he said: “There’s an opportunity for local authorities to
develop joint ventures, [which] you can see taking over some of the
delivery functions that are managed directly by PCTs.”

Byrne suggested these would be in the “well-being” area.

On the drive to slash the number of PCTs, he said: “You can’t
prejudge what will come back but people are very aware of the
benefits of coterminosity [with councils].”

Byrne also announced £125m in private finance credits to five
councils this week: Birmingham (£34.7m), East Sussex
(£34.7m), Medway (£17.3m), Tower Hamlets (£16m) and
Wolverhampton (£22.7m).

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