Council bid to outsource social care to unified health trusts

Suffolk Council plans to integrate adults’ and children’s social care and health services into outsourced “trusts” as it radically reshapes services.

The council caused controversy in September with its plans to outsource nearly all its services.

Proposals published this week include plans to create three or four trusts with responsibility for social care, health and health improvement.

The council said these would assess, plan, commission and deliver care. The sharing of resources would reduce health and social care management costs.

Suffolk said it would make care more person-centred, with service users having all their needs met from one source, and the council being required to provide them with choice.

The council said its proposals were in line with the government’s plans to reform health and social care, which prioritised personalisation and integration across the two sectors.

These would share the same boundaries as the proposed consortia of GP practices, which in 2013 will take responsibility for commissioning healthcare when the government intends abolishing primary care trusts.

However, Suffolk emphasised that the plans were at the “earliest concept stage” and could be rejected by councillors or officers.

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