Plans to create the country’s biggest joint budget for health and social care services in Sheffield have been singled out for praise.
The NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group and the city council want to create a pooled budget of £278 million, meaning they will work together more closely to run services.
Next year a new national policy called the Better Care Fund comes into force, which orders CCGs and councils to pool £41 million from their existing funding - meaning that, in Sheffield, £237 million more is being added to the pot than officially required.
The focus will be on setting up a single service to support people following a spell in hospital or social care, and providing more alternatives to hospital wards.
A new report in the Health Service Journal said Sheffield’s ‘ambition should be welcomed’ and that the city was ‘daring to dream big’.
Coun Mary Lea, the council’s cabinet member for health, care and independent living, said: “We have been really clear that we will to do whatever it takes in Sheffield to make health and social care services work for the people who need them.
“It’s great to see Sheffield singled out nationally for our innovative work in this way, but what really matters, as always, is that we’re finding a way to support the service users who rely on us in the face of huge financial challenges.”
Tim Furness, director of business planning and partnerships at NHS Sheffield CCG, said: “We have agreed to put together our resources because we believe that together we can ensure service users have a better, more joined-up experience of care and support, and because we think that working together will lead to better ways of meeting increasing demand.”