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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/2010-to-2015-government-policy-health-and-social-care-integration/2010-to-2015-government-policy-health-and-social-care-integration
This is a copy of a document that stated a policy of the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government. The previous URL of this page was https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/making-sure-health-and-social-care-services-work-together. Current policies can be found at the GOV.UK policies list.
The number of people in England who have health problems requiring both health and social care is increasing. For example, in the next 20 years, the percentage of people over 85 will double. This means there are likely to be more people with ‘complex health needs’ - more than one health problem - who require a combination of health and social care services.
But these services often don’t work together very well. For example, people are sent to hospital, or they stay in hospital too long, when it would have been better for them to get care at home. Sometimes people get the same service twice - from the NHS and social care organisations - or an important part of their care is missing.
This means patients do not get the joined-up services they need, leaving them at increased risk of harm. Health and care staff may miss opportunities to make things better for patients and service users, and taxpayers’ money is not being used as effectively as possible.
We want everybody who uses both health and social care services to have integrated care – services that work together to give the best care based on a person’s personal circumstances.
Helping local councils and healthcare organisations provide integrated care
We want local councils to help health and social care organisations to work together to meet people’s needs, for example by making sure that care services know what help somebody needs in their home when they leave hospital.
- giving £2.7 billion to local councils to help them join up NHS and social care services
- on top of this funding, giving local authorities an extra £100 million in 2013 to 2014 and an extra £200 million in 2014 to 2015
Allowing people to choose what services are right for them
It is more efficient for people to have control over their own budget for health and social care, because they are less likely to duplicate services or choose services that aren’t right for them.
- giving people personal health budgets – an amount of money that people get with their care plan so that they can make informed choices about which services to spend it on
- making it easy for people to combine their personal health budget and their social care budget, if they have one.
Removing barriers to integrated care
In the care and support white paper, we committed to working with other organisations to make evidence-based integrated care and support the norm over the next 5 years.
Working with national partners, we are removing barriers by:
- co-producing Integrated Care and Support: our shared commitment - a document setting out how local areas can use existing structures for integrating care
- agreeing and publishing a definition of integrated care
- inviting and supporting local areas to act as pioneers and examplars, to develop and demonstrate the use of innovative approaches to efficiently deliver integrated care.
Co-ordinating people’s care
Sometimes people find it difficult to understand the care system, particularly if they have complex needs. We want everyone with a care plan to be allocated a named professional who oversees their case (care co-ordination) and who can answer questions they have.
- changing the NHS Constitution, which tells people what they can expect from the NHS, to include a pledge to provide care co-ordination
- making sure that the care plan system supports care co-ordination
- making sure that all hospitals and social care organisations use care co-ordination
Providing better information on people’s health and care needs
For health and social care staff to work together, they must be able to share information about a person’s assessments, treatment and care.
We will create an electronic database that will provide information about what a person’s care needs are and what treatment they are getting. So staff will be able to share information easily, and patients and service users will be able to make decisions about the types of health and social care that are right for them.
Improving support for people moving from one service to another
It is important that people don’t lose support when moving from one service to another, for example moving from children’s to adult’s services or moving from hospital to home.
- developing a new assessment process for people from birth to 25 that will include education, health and social care needs
- planning to change the law to allow adult social care services to assess young people under 18
- spending £1 billion between 2010 and 2015 on making sure that old people returning home after hospital have a temporary care plan
In 2010, the government set out its plans for reforming the NHS in ‘Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS’. We stated that the primary purpose of the NHS is to improve the outcomes of healthcare for all: to deliver care that is safer, more effective, and that provides a better experience for patients.
In 2012, our mandate to NHS England set out a requirement to provide ‘care which feels more joined-up to the users of services’ and which ‘ensures people experience smooth transitions between care settings and organisations.’
Also in 2012, the care and support white paper set out more detailed proposals for integrating health and care services.
Bills and legislation
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 sets out specific obligations for the health system and its relationship with care and support services. It gives a duty to NHS England, clinical commissioning groups, Monitor and health and wellbeing boards to make it easier for health and social care services to work together. This will improve the quality of services and people’s experiences of them.
The Act also allows us to set the standards needed to create an electronic database of people’s care assessments, and their care and treatment needs.
The Care Act published in 2014, provides the legal framework for changes to the social care system.