Blackburn care trust plan wins council approval

Blackburn with Darwen Council leaders have approved plans to merge their adult and children’s social care commissioning functions with the local primary care trust.

The new care trust plus would have a single budget of over £300m with responsibility for health and care across the borough. Around 40 council social care staff would become NHS employees, joining 800 from Blackburn and Darwen PCT.

First to join-up children and adults’ commissioning

If it gets strategic health authority and government backing it would become what is believed to be the first organisation in England to bring together the commissioning of health and social care for children as well as adults, and would come into operation on 1 April 2010.

The government’s decision is expected in October. The move follows a public consultation on the proposals earlier this year.

The North West SHA is now looking at how staff would be affected and discussions have begun ahead of a formal consultation if the government approves the application.

The council said establishing a care trust plus would lead to better quality health and care services, create new services and cut duplication.

‘More of the same’ not sufficient

David Foster, executive member for adult social care, said: “Blackburn with Darwen has some of the worst health problems in Britain. More of the same will just produce more of the same results. We need a step change and the care trust plus will be able to deliver that.”

Council chief executive Graham Burgess said: “Working together in this way is a simple and straightforward approach to planning and buying health and care in the borough to provide top quality health and care services which really meet local needs.

“It will also involve people in helping to decide, design and buy the best health and care services for local needs.”

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