Pioneering health and social care partnership will lead to healthier future

A pioneering partnership between Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool City Council and Liverpool General Practice Provider Organisation will become responsible for a range of community health and some social care services from April next year. 

The new partnership will bring health and social care services together in local neighbourhoods so that teams can work together more efficiently and better coordinate people’s care. This is in line with Healthy Liverpool plans, developed by NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group and partners, to transform community services with a new model of care centred around the needs of patients.

The services involved include community and district nursing, health visiting and therapy services from Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust. They will link with a range of social care workers. It follows a stringent and detailed bidding process led by NHS Improvement who announced the partnership as their preferred provider for the services today.

Frontline NHS services currently provided in the city will continue and will benefit from new developments to help deliver more care close to people’s homes over the coming years.

This will include access to multi-disciplinary Community Care Teams, which include pharmacists, social workers and nursing and therapy teams working together with GPs to ensure a more co-ordinated approach to care.

Joined-up electronic health and care records will also allow staff to access patient information at their fingertips and identify people who will benefit most from intensive support. Clear links will be built with hospital teams so that all community care is fully coordinated.

Liverpool City Council cabinet member for adult social care and health, Councillor Paul Brant, said: “We simply have to change the face of health and social care in Liverpool so it works better for people, is less bureaucratic and makes the best use of our resources, particularly in the face of rising demand for some services.

“This pioneering new venture is a key part of the Healthy Liverpool programme in which all partners are working together to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents.

“There are already some great examples of partnership work to build on and I believe that today’s announcement is a real game changer in ensuring a healthier future for Liverpool and improving services.”

Colin Scales, chief executive at Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our first priority is around providing safe and high quality community care to the people of Liverpool.

“Working in partnership to do that with the city council and local GPs means we can do this faster and more efficiently. We have a track record of doing this in other parts of the North West and of using teamwork and new technology to help ensure patients avoid costly hospital admissions. We are looking forward to starting the work with the dedicated community staff in Liverpool to deliver the very best service possible for local people.”

Dr Jim Cuthbert, city GP and chair of the Liverpool General Practice Provider Organisation, added: “From a GP perspective this is a really exciting development that’s all about making services better for patients. It’s not about individual organisations, it’s about us coming together to make a difference to people’s lives so they have one point of contact for their care and we work around their needs, not them needing to work around different organisations and bureaucracy.

“Let’s see what we can actually do by putting people first in this way.”

A full business case will now be worked up in preparation for the transfer of services.

Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is a leading NHS provider of community based healthcare in the North West and has a demonstrable track record of delivering high quality community services across Cheshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester. The Liverpool General Practice Provider Organisation is the representative organisation of GPs in the city and represent Liverpool’s GP practices.