Bold plan to explore integration of adult social care and health in south-west London
Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust (HRCH), along with Hounslow Council and Richmond Council, are considering ambitious plans which could establish London’s first fully-integrated adult social care and health provider.
The three organisations are to begin exploring whether a fully integrated organisation could improve care delivery.
Members of HRCH’s Trust Board will consider whether to go ahead with a feasibility study at their next Board meeting on Wednesday 18 July, while Hounslow Council’s cabinet meets this week to discuss the plans and Richmond Council’s cabinet will meet on 19 July.
All three organisations believe there is an exciting opportunity to create a simpler way for residents to access health and social care services.
It could be the first example of a NHS Trust working with two London boroughs and their NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups to achieve an integrated service for the provision of health and social care.
If the feasibility study leads to the conclusions that a new integrated organisation is the best way to proceed, it is thought the earliest this could launch is autumn 2013.
Richard Tyler, Chief Executive of Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust, said:
“Patients tell us that they want their care to be more joined up and co-ordinated, and it can be greatly frustrating when this doesn’t happen. Evidence shows integrated health and social care offers better outcomes for service users, makes resources go further and improves people’s experience of these services.
“We are very excited at the prospect of working with both boroughs to potentially develop truly integrated services for the people of Hounslow and Richmond upon Thames.”
Cllr Gurmail Lal, Hounslow Council’s cabinet member for adult social care and health, said:
“Integrating health and social care is about making life simpler for residents and helping people stay healthy and independent for longer. There are many faults with the current system which will be well known to users and their families and which we need to address.
“This is a bold step for all three leading organisations to take. We are the first area of London to pursue this level of integration,and an opportunity to make a real difference to residents’ experience of services.”
Cllr Nicola Urquhart, Richmond Council's Cabinet Member for Adults Services, Health and Housing said:
“We have been committed to integrated social care and health over a long period and this is an opportunity to build on this further.
“It would be easy to talk about the differences between our boroughs, but we already share our community health provider and believe there is an opportunity to build something innovative together. However, this depends on the feasibility study demonstrating the benefits for local people.”