Care Minister announces Camden as pioneer to integrate health and social care

A programme to promote the innovative ways health and care is being joined up across the country has been extended to include Camden, the Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb, has announced today.

Speaking at an event in Leeds, he confirmed Camden had been chosen as a new ‘Integration Pioneer’ because of its innovative ideas to integrate health and care and will be given additional funding to support these programmes.

The aim is to make health and social care services work together to provide better support at home and earlier treatment in the community, to prevent people needing emergency care in hospital or being admitted to care homes.

The Minister also highlighted the successes that the fourteen existing pioneering areas have already achieved through joining up their health and social care services.
Results from the original pioneer areas include:

  • South Devon Torbay have integrated health and social care teams giving patients faster access to services. Previously, getting in touch with a social worker, district nurse, physiotherapist and occupational therapist required multiple phone calls. Now all of these services can be accessed through a single call.
  • Previously, in Cornwall, patients needing physiotherapy had to wait eight weeks. Now, they only need to wait 48 hours.
  • In Kent the Discharge Coordinators who work in the emergency department help patients to be discharged quickly and safely and make arrangements for their continuing care. There is evidence the team’s work is reducing emergency admissions, A&E waiting times and avoiding permanent care for people supported.

    Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb on the announcement of the Wave 2 pioneers said:

    “I am delighted Camden has been chosen to be an integrated care pioneer. Through the original pioneers, we have already seen the difference joining up health and care can have in reducing unnecessary emergency admissions and helping people to live independently for longer. I hope these new pioneers will do the same for their local community.”  

    On the One Year on Report, Minister Lamb said: “We know we need to work differently to respond to our growing ageing population - our £5.3 billion Better Care Fund, the biggest ever national programme to join up health and care, will focus resources on helping people to live independently, which will save money and reduce unnecessary hospital admissions. These 14 visionary local areas have stepped up to develop innovative ways to manage care around people’s needs and improved the health and wellbeing of their communities – I hope other areas will follow their example.”

    Dr Caz Sayer, Chair of NHS Camden Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said:

    "Camden CCG is excited to have been selected alongside Camden Council to become an Integrated Care Pioneer. This is a testament to the incredible work we have done trailblazing integrated health care to place patients’ individual needs at the very heart of everything we are doing. We are already working closely with Camden Council to deliver joined-up, user-friendly care through joint commissioning. As well as enhancing services for the frail and elderly, we are also improving diabetes care through the development of an Integrated Practice Unit. This brings together different health service providers in one place, improving care coordination and making it easier for patients to manage their condition. We look forward to building on the opportunities that being an Integrated Care Pioneer will provide for us to continue to improve services and enable all Camden residents towards living full, healthy lives.”

    Councillor Pat Callaghan, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health said:

    “We’re delighted to become an Integrated Care Pioneer – a tangible demonstration of Camden’s longstanding commitment to partnership working and helping more local people to stay well and remain independent. The Better Care Fund has already provided us with an opportunity to achieve some great things. By placing social workers in local GP surgeries, we’re helping people to get the right support at the right time from the places they naturally go to for it. We’re also putting even more services in place to help people become more independent in their homes, get out of hospital sooner, cut A&E admissions and reduce the need for residential and nursing care. The pioneering projects we’re running in the borough have been extremely well received and are already delivering some very real and positive outcomes for local people.”