The new landscape in social care and health

Headed by Liam Hughes, National Adviser Healthy Communities, the agency is launching this report looking at innovation in the new structures being adopted by local authorities and primary care trusts (PCTs) to enable joint working. This features case studies of the most innovative relationships and structures.

Over recent years, local authorities have reconfigured their social care, separating children's from adult services and creating new forms of partnerships with PCTs and other parts of the National Health Service (NHS). As a result, there is now a wide variety of organisational arrangements in place, and new ones on the way. A new landscape for health and social care is being created.

The emphasis is on:

  • place shaping and the creation of healthy and sustainable communities
  • the requirement for joint strategic needs assessments and local area agreements
  • the push for better commissioning and greater productivity

These are important drivers which have accelerated the pace of change. There is now a much greater emphasis on prevention through local partnerships for health and wellbeing, and the children and young people's plans also demonstrate this shift in focus. How should local partners respond?

These are important and debatable questions, with only limited evidence available to help us answer them at this stage. This paper offers a preliminary and very personal picture of the emerging ecology of organisational forms, and picks up some of the more obvious and immediate issues associated with each of them.

This paper has been intended to start up some debate, and your comments can be sent to the author.

Download a copy of The new landscape in social care and health (PDF, 7 pages, 127KB).


Liam Hughes, National Advisor for Healthy Communities,
telephone: (020) 7296 6192

18 November 2011

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