Proposed future commissioning of health and care services for the benefit of the people of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

At yesterday’s (05 February 2018) Health and Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee, members decided to recommend to the Council’s Cabinet that a new joint health and care committee is set up to test how joined up strategic commissioning for health and social care can work to improve how services are better delivered for the people of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Members of the Committee recommended to Cabinet that, as this is a new way of working, there should be a transition period, described as shadow working, so that the emerging model is tested, reviewed and refined.

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There will be continuous monitoring of the proposed new model to produce a business case which will detail how the proposed new commissioning board is set up.

The final business case will be considered by the Health and Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee before going to the Council’s Cabinet.

Developing such a system for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is a way of bringing together the network of existing statutory health and care providers and commissioners. It does not change an organisation’s statutory and legal responsibilities, and will allow for a one strategy, one budget and one plan approach to work together in the best interests of the people of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, rather than those of each organisation. 

Councillor Armand Toms, the Chair of the Council’s Health and Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee said: “One of the important recommendations agreed at today’s meeting is to involve and engage with the public and ask them what they think about the system.

Understandably, people are wary of change.  We need to demystify the whole issue.  This is about how can we use what we’ve got to the best advantage for our people so they can receive care in a more joined up way.  It is not about setting up an Accountable Care Organisation; it’s not about outsourcing, it’s not about privatisation.”

Armand adds: “Members also recognised that a single integrated commissioning body provides a strong voice for lobbying Government for fairer funding for the residents of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.”

Cornwall Council cabinet member for Adults Rob Rotchell said: “I’m pleased that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee agreed to support the concept of strategic commissioning but this is just the first step with nothing set in stone.  Scrutiny and governance are important considerations, as is engagement with the public.   

We already have good examples of how we can work well together, for example, delayed transfers of care are at the lowest level for two years and that is as a result of working closely with the clinical commissioning group.  This is about working so we can deliver what is best for Cornwall as well as lobby for fairer funding for adult social care.”

If agreed by all the partners, the proposed new system will involve NHS Kernow; Cornwall Council; Council of the Isles of Scilly; NHS England; Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust and Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

It will mean bringing together a small integrated strategic commissioning function which would jointly commission health, care and wellbeing services, to test out a new more integrated way of working so the network of existing statutory health and care providers work together, to improve care across the whole system, and support front-line staff to do what is in the best interests of people, rather the individual organisations.

Each organisation will continue to operate within the existing statutory framework which means the CCG, councils, NHS England, and NHS provider trusts will remain the statutory accountable bodies in the system.

Councillor Armand Toms gives us his thoughts on the recent Health and Social Care Overview Committee in the video below.