CC Live: GPs must engage with social care, says minister Ivan Lewis

The Department of Health needs to put pressure on GPs to engage with social care in promoting wellbeing, care services minister Ivan Lewis said today.

Answering a question on the lack of engagement from GPs with social care, Lewis said the development of practice based commissioning, under which GPs are given virtual budgets to purchase services, made good relationships vital.

He said: “The health side of the Department of Health needs to be a bit more strident with their primary care colleagues about what it’s like to be a partner.”

Lewis said he wanted to set up a national body that brought together GPs, other primary and community health professionals and social care practitioners, to forge better relationships.

He added: “GPs like to work as lone rangers.”

Lewis, setting his stall out six months into his post, said he also wanted to set up a leadership, management and commissioning academy for social care, and a research journal for the sector, akin to the Lancet for health.

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Sally Gillen

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