Published December 2, 2014 at 12:17
Plans for how Blackburn with Darwen will spend £12m of public funding to improve health and social care services in the borough have been approved by NHS England.
The Better Care Fund (BCF) was announced by the government in June 2013 to help bring together health and social care. The ambitious programme encourages the NHS and local government to pool some of their budgets and bring their staff together in shared teams so that they can provide better, more joined up services to local people.
In September 2014 NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council submitted a bid to the Better Care Fund, detailing the money they have identified for joint health and social care and how it will be spent.
In a recent announcement made by NHS England, the plan submitted on behalf of Blackburn with Darwen was approved (with support), meaning the two organisations can begin to implement their plans with immediate effect.
Dr Chris Clayton, Clinical Chief Officer Blackburn with Darwen CCG, said:
Patients tell us that they experience health and social care services that are not joined up and because of this, their experience of care is varied. We are working hard to ensure that services are connected for the benefit of patients. A significant amount of work is already underway in Blackburn and Darwen to integrate health and social care. The Better Care Fund will enable us to build upon this work and deliver health and social care services that help people live safely and independently in their own homes.
The plan submitted for the Better Care Fund proposes a number of schemes for Blackburn with Darwen and changes are arranged under five themes, which are designed to support local people over the next five years in different ways:
Less people admitted to hospital as an emergency
- by focusing care around the needs of individuals through joined up clinically led teams and intensive home support
Quicker discharges with people spending less time in hospital
- by ensuring people have suitable packages of care when discharged from hospital
Less people admitted into residential care
- by developing greater home care and support options
A system that can be easily understood
- by developing a system where people can access and flow through hospital services easily and know who to contact in a crisis
Improved diagnosis rates for dementia
- by enabling people to receive an early and accurate diagnosis and receive the support they need to help them lead as full and active life as possible
Cllr Mohammed Khan, the Council’s Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said:
We have a long history of partnership with the NHS and this new programme of work is enabling us to take it to a whole new level. Council and NHS staff can now work together, rather than separately as in the past, to support residents who need both health and social care services. This means people have a much better experience when they receive our services and the improved support will help them to be healthy and live more independently for longer.
With the the Better Care Fund, Blackburn with Darwen CCG and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council aim to create a joined up approach to health and social care that reduces demand for hospital services and puts prevention at its heart.