New integrated care approach given the green light for Northumberland communities

County Hall in Morpeth.County Hall in Morpeth.
County Hall in Morpeth.
Communities in Northumberland are to benefit from an innovative new model for supporting adults with long-term care and support needs.

The new approach to adult social care services, approved by Northumberland County Council’s cabinet, will be one element in a wider integrated model to supporting people with care and support needs in the community, with the council working more closely with GP practices, mental health services and the voluntary and community sector.

There are also opportunities for closer integration with other council services, including children’s services and preventative community support.

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Cath McEvoy-Carr, executive director of adult social care and children’s services, said: “The pandemic has seen teams from across the public sector working together more effectively than ever before, and we want to build on what has been achieved in Northumberland.”

Under a 2011 partnership agreement with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the council delegated provision of most adult social care functions to the Trust.

In 2020, the council proposed a new model for the integration of community-based health and care services for people with long-term disabling health conditions. This would have had separate governance arrangements, which might have involved additional NHS partners such as primary care and mental health services, to support closer integration with key health services outside the Trust.

The Trust did not feel able to support this proposal, and came to the view that new opportunities associated with the national policy for Integrated Care Systems (ICS) meant that the formal partnership agreement was no longer necessary. As a result, the formal partnership agreement will end on September 30.

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