Health and social care integration moves closer

Checks on health

The first steps in creating an integrated health and social care system in Liverpool will be formalised on Wednesday 14 May.

A special Health Summit is taking place at Liverpool Town Hall, during which Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – which funds hospital and community health services for GP patients – will sign a partnership agreement. It is designed to cut red tape and bureaucracy, reduce duplication of services and unnecessary competition.

It was one of the key recommendations in a report by the Mayoral Health Commission – which was set up by Mayor Joe Anderson and chaired by former President of the Royal College of Physicians, Professor Sir Ian Gilmore.

It concluded that, despite many successes in improving public health, the challenges around poverty, health conditions, an over reliance on hospital care and cuts in funding meant that a radical shift was required to tackle the issues.

The aim is to bring together the commissioning plans of Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the city council, the Health and Wellbeing Board and NHS England (Merseyside).

The vision is for health and social care to be delivered in the community, with staff working jointly in each locality through the development of a neighbourhood model. It will build upon the primary care (GPs) structure, and enable staff to get to know the locality and their patients.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “We have a fantastic health and social care system in Liverpool with outstanding staff who are doing an absolutely amazing job, but there is no doubt that there is too much duplication and bureaucracy.

“At a time when we are facing severe pressures on our funding, we have simply got to redouble our efforts to do things differently.

“This document is a major step forward in improving services and working together in a seamless way.

“It is an example of how we are delivering on the recommendations made by the Mayoral Commissions.”

The partnership approach has already been agreed and endorsed by the Liverpool Health and Wellbeing Board, the council’s Cabinet and Liverpool CCG.

Dr Nadim Fazlani, Chair of Liverpool CCG, said: “Today’s and tomorrow’s challenge is that we have to be innovative and make sure that we have a health service which can meet the needs of the patients.”