Bolton’s health and social care organisations are joining forces to improve the health and wellbeing of residents.
The new partnership will deliver the health and care system for the borough and includes NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Bolton Council and Bolton NHS Foundation Trust alongside organisations including Greater Manchester Mental Health Foundation Trust and representatives from the community voluntary sector.
The decision to create one, integrated partnership forms part of the borough’s plans for transformation. Bolton received £28.8 million in 2016 from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership to take more control of the way it provides health and care services.
Proposals to officially form the partnership have been approved at key meetings of each of the three main organisations: Bolton NHS Foundation Trust; NHS Bolton CCG; and Bolton Council.
There are two pieces of work that will bring together services in Bolton. The first of these is the development of a Strategic Commissioning Function for the borough, bringing together the health and care commissioning teams and budgets of Bolton Council and NHS Bolton CCG.
Currently, teams within each organisation separately commission services for local residents such as care home places, home care and learning disability services. By working together, they will be able to avoid duplication and fill any gaps, make effective use of skills and resources, and improve the integration of services for the borough which will ultimately benefit local residents.
The second piece of work is the development of an Integrated Care Partnership, bringing together hospital, community health, social care, community voluntary sector and GP services. The focus will be on coordinating care at a neighbourhood level and removing the boundaries between organisations supporting staff to help the person in the centre, stay well, connected and at home for as long as they are able, so that demands on our hospital and long term care are reduced. This will start with the formation of a partnership of provider organisations.
The Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Linda Thomas, said: “At the moment, people receiving health and social care services can often feel like the system is disjointed and they find themselves seeing a range of different professionals, and having to tell their story over and over again. Combining our skills and budgets is the logical thing to do and marks the start of an exciting journey for us all.”
Dr Wirin Bhatiani, Chair of Bolton CCG said: “With people living longer, with more complex health needs, we need to adapt our health care accordingly, and continuing as we are is simply not an option. By bringing clinicians and politicians around the table together, I am confident we can make the best decisions for Bolton people with our limited resources.”
Jackie Bene, Chief Executive of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our aim is to ensure more people receive the support they need in their own community. By joining up teams working in neighbourhoods and focusing on the person’s individual needs, visits to hospital will only happen when absolutely necessary.”