Wiltshire snub on shared boundary

Relations between the NHS and social care in Wiltshire have received another blow after health bosses recommended that the area’s new primary care trust should not be coterminous with the county council.

After last month’s decision by two existing PCTs to withdraw about 3m from care services (Wiltshire services in jeopardy,  6 April), Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Strategic Health Authority has decided against coterminosity for the new PCT.

Instead, it recommended to ministers that the trust should cover the boundaries of Wiltshire and Swindon councils and possibly Bath and North East Somerset too.

Wiltshire Council’s director of adult and community services, Ray Jones, said this would cause difficulties for joint commissioning and the local area agreement Wiltshire is due to sign next year.

“We’ve got the funding problem and the problem of whom we do business with,” he added.

Coterminosity between PCTs and councils was one of the key selling points of proposals launched last summer by the Department of Health to slash the number of trusts.

Strategic health authorities are this week submitting proposals to ministers, and the DH has promised a quick decision on the new PCTs, which will be launched in October.


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