New deal ‘to offer better health care in Lewisham.’

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The local authority and healthcare providers in Lewisham have announced a new partnership in administering adult health and social care, the latest stage in a collaborative project to deliver better standards of care to the borough’s residents.

Lewisham Council and NHS Lewisham said they were working together with the aim of improving adult health and social care throughout the borough. It is hoped that through the partnership, both organizations will be able to improve their services.

This new initiative will create a central ‘health and social care needs fund’ for the borough, and aims to help both partners manage budgets more effectively.

Lewisham Primary Care Trust have said that they will ‘get rid of unnecessary bureaucracy between the NHS and local government’ to reduce costs.

Mayor Steve Bullock said: “We are extremely excited about this development in our partnership as we believe it will result in a wide range of benefits for local adult service users and their carers.”

Council and health authority bosses have promised to deliver better services and contribute to ongoing programmes to ensure that residents lead healthy lives.

The new arrangements are intended to highlight service users rather than individual organizations involved with adult health care in the borough.

Gill Galliano, Chief executive of NHS Lewisham, said: “The new agreement builds on our existing practice to work closely with key local organisations. It is altogether a far more efficient, effective and fair way to deliver vital services to some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”

“It will allow us to develop more robust and flexible joint commissioning structures and mean we are better placed to respond to the personalisation agenda or any future policy changes.”

The ‘personalisation agenda’ allows individuals to have a choice over their care, and personalised budgets straight from the local authority.

Dee Carlin, Head of Joint Commissioning, said: “Our key stakeholders will be service users and their carers; health and social care service providers; GPs and local acute care providers; the voluntary sector and community groups; and the wider public.”

“The role of the local authority as lead commissioner will allow us to work much more closely with other council departments whose role will have a real impact on the health and social care of vulnerable people, e.g. housing, leisure and wide community support.”

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