05 October 2015

The first steps towards the creation of a new integrated out-of-hospital health and social care organisation will be discussed at Northamptonshire County Council’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday (October 6th).

The new approach could bring together health provider Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) with Northamptonshire’s adult social care provision to deliver an integrated health and social care pathway.

Joined up working

The growing demands across health and social care require a more joined up way of working together in order to better meet the needs of the county’s growing and aging population.

Cabinet members will be asked to agree in principle plans to integrate these services, subject to a business case which will be developed to fully scope the new model.

It will potentially create one of the largest health and social care integrations in the country, supporting thousands of people across Northamptonshire.

Next Generation

The transition is part of Northamptonshire County Council’s move towards a Next Generation Model, which will see the council commission specialist social enterprises or organisations to deliver services on its behalf.

This new approach to the provision of adult social care and healthcare services will involve Olympus Care Services – which the council currently commissions to deliver adult care services – the council’s assessment and care management functions and the community services of NHFT.

The new integrated way of working should be in place by April 1st 2016 in shadow format and to be fully functioning by April 2017.

Cllr Suresh Patel, county council cabinet member for adult social care, said: “This is an exciting and bold decision, bringing together core services to provide an integrated seamless service which will deliver better outcomes for the people of Northamptonshire.

“In our conversation with people who use services they often express their frustration of a lack of joined up service. Through this new way of working we believe we will be able to address these concerns.

“Social care and health care are facing unprecedented demands for their services in a time of reducing budgets. Through working together, we can better co-ordinate our resources while making sure we have a community health and social care model that is fit for the future and best placed to meet the needs of the county.”

Angela Hillery, chief executive of NHFT, said: “NHFT is committed to integrated care and improving patient outcomes and we will continue to work with partners to understand how this can best be achieved. We welcome the move by NCC and share a joint focus on providing integrated, individualised care for our local communities.”

Board handover

At Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, councillors will be asked to approve a proposal for the current board of directors at Olympus Care Services to handover board responsibilities to representatives of the council who, along with the existing chief executive of Olympus Care Services, will oversee the transition to the new model.

Current health and social care service users will continue to receive the same services delivered by the same care workers.

Over the coming months, staff and service users will have opportunities to find out more about the proposals and give their comments.