Hampshire's partners commit to join up health and social care
Tuesday, 01 July 2014
Leaders from across Hampshire's health, social care and voluntary sectors - together with service user groups, have pledged their shared commitment to ensuring a more joined-up and coordinated approach to delivering care which puts children, young people and adults at the heart of services.
At the county's first Better health, better care conference (19 June), hosted by Hampshire County Council, delegates heard from a range of speakers about the importance of agencies working more closely together, to better support the needs of service users.
One case study highlighted the value people place on such a coordinated approach, explaining: "I can plan my care with people who work together to understand me and my carer (s), allow me control, and bring together services to achieve the outcomes important to me." (National Voices)
The County Council is already working closely with partners in Health on how best to integrate and coordinate services using the Better Care Fund Plan and associated funding. The Plan aims to support health and social care services to work more closely together in local areas to ensure transformation across integrated health and social care. The £80 million fund for Hampshire, which comes into place in 2015-16, is specifically designed to provide people with the right care, in the right place, at the right time - supporting people to live well in their communities and prevent them needing costly health or social care services, later in life.
Responsibility for ensuring the Hampshire partners achieve the aims of the Better Care Plan lies with the Hampshire Health and Wellbeing Board whose members oversee the implementation of the Plan.
Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Chair of the Hampshire Health and Wellbeing Board and Hampshire County Council Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: "People in Hampshire are living for longer, and over the next ten years, the county's population will increase by over 100,000 people. Medical advances mean more people are surviving serious illness, and while this is welcome news, it means there will be greater numbers of residents with 'complex and long-term health needs' than ever before. This changing demographic is placing increasing pressure on health and social care, at a time of significant financial constraints within the public sector.
"To improve the lives of people in Hampshire and to be able to afford to provide the services to those who need them, significant changes have to be made to the current way of funding, purchasing, providing and delivering health and care support. The objective of the Better health, better care conference was to bring together partners to establish a joint commitment to these necessary changes and integration."