Proposed devolution of health services and integration of health and social care
On the 16th July the Government announced a deal with Cornwall Council on the proposed devolution of powers from franchising and improving local bus services and improved investment opportunities, to bringing health and social care services together.
Under the details laid out in the document Cornwall Devolution Deal, Cornwall Council, along with the Council of the Isles of Scilly, NHS Kernow (Clinical Commissioning Group) and other local partners, will need to come up with a business plan that sets out how health and social care services will work together in a way that improves outcomes for local people. It will include a plan to reduce pressure on Accident and Emergency and avoidable hospital admissions.
The plan will then be submitted to the Government and NHS for careful consideration before any devolution of health powers took place. Any final plan will require the agreement of all six MP’s for Cornwall.
The plan acknowledges that Cornwall faces demographic challenges with a disproportionate number of residents over the age of 75 with added pressure on services compared to the rest of the UK and that this group is expected to continue to grow significantly.
This plan is only at the beginning stage; Among the issues raised by West Cornwall Healthwatch are:
- Means-tested social care compared with free-at-point-of-need NHS care, and how that would work?
- Democracy accountability (West Cornwall Healthwatch have been told that apparently it would have a Board with elected councillors on it)
- Who would control the budget ( West Cornwall Healthwatch have been told that apparently it would not be Cornwall Council) ?