By Debbie le Quesne

Pioneers announced to lead the charge in care reform

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Coordinated care, integration of care packages, innovative change – the Gov.UK website, mouthpiece of the Cabinet, is full of such buzzwords regarding the future delivery of care reform.

Forgive me please if I seem a little tired of hearing the catchy phrases but transforming care is more than just words.

It does, however, seem there are positive signs of bringing care streams closer together with the announcement this month of 14 pioneering areas leading us to a glorious future of provision (maybe).

The pioneers are showcasing innovative ways of creating change in the health service, which the Government and national partners want to see spread across the country, Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb announced.

According to the government site, these pioneers have been selected by a “renowned panel of experts, including international experts drawing together global expertise and experience of how good joined up care works in practice.”

The aim? “To make health and social care services work together to provide better support at home and earlier treatment in the community to prevent people needing emergency care in hospital or care homes.”

I cannot help believe it is also aimed at saving money as the care funding crisis deepens daily.

In a statement on the website, Mr Lamb adds: “Too often care is uncoordinated, leaving too many people needlessly entering the revolving door of their local A&E again and again, because somewhere in the system their care has broken down.

“We have heard people talk about integration before, but it has never truly taken hold across the NHS. These pioneers are a starting gun for the NHS and social care to achieve a common goal – to get local health and care services working together, not separately, in the interests of the people that they all serve.”

All very laudable. It will be interesting to watch the politics of funding these services come to light as I’m sure they will.

It’s a fantastic concept to have joined up thinking in the NHS and social care and these pioneers “will test new ways of working for everyone to learn from, and drive forward genuine change for the future,” the article says.

Local to us are North Staffordshire and Worcestershire, both selected for this testbed.

It’s early days for these pioneers but WMCA will be keeping an eye on how things develop and trying to ensure that social care does not become the poor relation in these initiatives.


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