Health and social care partnerships need to ‘withstand turbulence in the sector’

Health and social care must establish partnership working arrangements that are strong enough to withstand turbulence within the sector, David Behan, director of social care at the Department of Health told Community Care Live adults today.

In a session on social care and health working together, he said: “The paradox is that partnerships are important to the future but are as fragile in some places as they have been for some time.

“It’s important to have partnerships that are active in times of turmoil.”

On the subject of aligning the performance assessment frameworks in health and social care, he said the new directors of adult services and directors of public health were already making a difference.

David Behan added if this time next year these two roles were not working together even more effectively, the sector was right to be concerned.

Also addressing the same session, Duncan Selbie, commissioning director at the Department of Health, said while there was huge scope for improving “efficiency and effectiveness” of what the NHS does, “it isn’t about saving money”.

He said: “It’s about responding to the next set of public expectations, which are getting care closer to home and only going into hospital if people have to.”

During questions and answers, he admitted that although more money had gone into the system, most of it had gone into the NHS and not social care.

He said: “We are going to be arguing about that for the next period and we recognise it has been difficult for social care.”

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