Government tells PCTs to work more closely with social care

Health services will become much more involved in social care, under plans announced by the Department of Health today.

Health secretary Andy Burnham set out his vision for the NHS from 2010-15 this morning.

He said: “I am an advocate for breaking down the barriers between health and social care. This is my plan for the NHS. Separately, we will be bringing forward a plan for social care. Those two documents need to be read together. I an clear that we need to make health and social care more equal partners and that means working together jointly and collaboratively in the community.”

He added: “We are prioritising our budget to enhance reablement services. People might see it as something councils might have spent [cash on]. We need to work more collaboratively, have less of a Berlin wall between health and social care than there has been in the past.”

A strategy document reveals more details on how the government will implement the Personal Care at Home Bill, which was announced in the Queen’s Speech last month.

The NHS 2010-2015: from good to great says: “The Personal Care at Home Bill will support many who need home care for the first time and will help them regain their independence.

“We will invest £130m in services that will help people to maintain their dignity and rebuild their confidence so that they can continue to live at home.

“To do this, primary care trusts (PCTs) will need to collaborate more closely with social care colleagues, using resources jointly to deliver improvements.”

The NHS operating framework for 2010-11 is due to be published next week. This will set out more details on the government’s strageic priorities for next year.

In a speech to NHS chief executives today (10 December), David Nicholson, chief executive of the NHS, said the framework will require health services to work more closely with local authorities.

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