In 2018 Northamptonshire celebrated the 70th anniversary of the NHS. Within a few weeks of the NHS being founded in 1948, our social care system was also set up to meet the needs of the time.
Historically our services were set up in very different ways and based on varying different priorities, and this has created differences in the way people receive support. These differences now mean our community is not getting the high quality and continuity of care we would all want to provide, and to receive.
Seventy years later, at a time when our population is growing older, it is crucial that our health and social care organisations work together with the voluntary and community sector to help older people to maintain their independence for longer
While some of our social care is free to access due to the way it’s funded, some of it is bought directly by services users from a wide range of different suppliers. Many people in our community get bits of their care from different parts of these different organisations. This makes things quite complicated for social care providers and, most importantly, for those receiving support.
Until very recently our health and care organisations were accountable only for the part of care that they provide to the patient or service user. Unfortunately this has meant that someone who needs care for a variety of conditions could be receiving services from five or six different organisations with very little coordination between them.
This is confusing and a wasteful use of resources, and the reality is that this situation leaves no one taking overall responsibility for the coordination of this fragmented care. As individual providers we all want to improve the quality of the services we provide and outcomes for our patients and service users. Underlying all we do is the desire to help those we care for stay well and live well – so we know it is time to change.
It is for these reasons we have committed to work together as Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership – because together we can do more create positive lifetime of health, wellbeing and care in our community. If we work together and work differently, we can bring about the changes we would all want to see. We can help empower people to choose well, stay well and live well.