Healthcare services in Portsmouth to be merged following plan approval

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Paige Howitt

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PLANS to merge healthcare services have taken a step forward.

Portsmouth City Council has approved the Better Care Plan for 2016/17, which is part of a national initiative to integrate health and social care services. The scheme offers support through a pool of funding between the NHS and local authorities.

It is vital that all agencies dealing with health and social care work as closely together as possible.

Councillor Luke Stubbs

The Portsmouth Better Care fund brings together £16m of funding from Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group and the council to support the combining of services.

The plan was approved by the council’s cabinet member for adult social care and public health, Councillor Luke Stubbs.

He said: ‘It’s vital that all agencies dealing with health and social care work as closely together as possible.

‘I’m very pleased to have taken this next step forward.

‘We’re already making great progress in integrating health and social care and I’m confident we can continue to build upon this.’

The Better Care programme has already seen success in Portsmouth in the council’s Acute Visiting Service and Living Well projects.

They have made improvements for people and a reduction in emergency admissions to hospital.

These services will be extended so the council can continue to develop and build upon the success.

As well as merging services, community health and social care services are now based together in the Civic Offices in the city centre and at Medina House in Paulsgrove.

Over the next year, they will join teams for the north, centre and south of the city.

And there are plans underway for improved rehabilitation services, changes to community bed services and prevention and wellbeing.

The plan is supported by NHS England.