Plans to review how health and social care is provided across Somerset have been revealed today.
Somerset CCG, the organisation that plans and buys healthcare services for Somerset residents, and Somerset County Council, responsible for providing social care services, agreed today at CCGs governing body to work together on a joint programme called “Fit for the Future”.
They will work with doctors, nurses and other health and social care professionals, patients and other service users, and the wider public to look at the best option for future health and social care provision in the county. There are some significant challenges:
- We all want to enhance both the quality and experience of care
- an ageing population living with more complex illnesses is placing growing demands on services
- access to health and care services differs in different parts of the county; in some areas provision is weak and current expenditure isn’t always targeted as well as it should be to where it’s most needed
At the same time
- some of our services face real challenges in their ability to recruit and retain doctors, nurses, specialist consultants, care and social workers
- financial pressure on both health and social care budgets are considerable – there’s an increasing gap between the money we have to spend and the demand we face.
The announcement was made against a background of huge public interest nationally in how health and social care services are run and funded into the future.
In Somerset, the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Somerset County Council (SCC) will review five key areas:
- urgent and emergency care
- proactive care for frail and elderly people
- planned care such as hip replacements
- children and maternity care
- care for people living with mental health and learning disabilities
The “Fit for the Future” programme will look at the care patients and residents need, where and how it is best provided and how people can expect health and social care provision to look over a long-term timeframe.
One of the key requirements of the review is to involve patients, service-users and members of the public at every stage.
“We are launching our “Fit for the Future” programme with an appeal for the public to be aware, to be involved and to come forward to help us shape health and social care services for now and the future,” said CCG’s Programme Director Dr Rosie Benneyworth.
“This is a hugely important piece of work; we want to make sure every pound we have is spent well in Somerset. The stark truth is that if we do nothing, we face a growing deficit in just a few years – £175million in 2020/21 alone and a total of £600million over the five years leading up to it – and that is clearly unsustainable.”
“The launch of our programme is very timely bearing in mind the wider national debate; joining up health and social care together will be better for everybody, and help us to use our budgets more effectively,” said Somerset County Council’s Director of Public Health Trudi Grant:
“We very much want to hear from the public directly about how they believe we can bring about change that works for everyone. It is a challenge, it will involve difficult choices, but it is the right thing to do and we really want to get the public involved.”
To view the Health and Social Care Strategy Project Initiation Document (PID), please click http://www.somersetccg.nhs.uk/about-us/governing-body/meetings-and-papers/gb-26-april-2018/