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Notts selected for new £1m Government health and social care pilot

Nottinghamshire has been selected as one of three areas in England to roll out joint health and social care personal budgets for all adults with care needs to give them greater choice and control over their care.

The move is in recognition of the county’s success in this area of work as around 500 Nottinghamshire residents already receive a joint health and social care funded package of care.

The £1m Government pilot project – a third of which Nottinghamshire will receive – forms part of the Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s speech today (Tuesday 20 March) on the seven key principles of social care reform which will be detailed in a Green Paper to be published in the summer.

One of the principles includes the NHS and social care services operating as one, and a single health and social care assessment and personal budget for adults with care needs is one way of achieving this aim.

The pilot will specifically examine the impact of joint personal budgets and health and social care plans and will build on current closer working arrangements with Nottinghamshire health partners and the County Council’s social care teams to plan for people’s care.

These organisations have also set up monthly meetings with an active group of services users and carers to help influence the new approach.

Helen Hassell from Newark attends these meetings and her 21-year son Karl, who has spina bifida, autism, learning difficulties and epilepsy, has a personal budget covering his health and social care needs.

Helen said: “We started with 50/50 provision of health and social care but as soon as a joint approach was taken the difference was immense.

“We went from being ‘done to’ to being ‘done with’. We work together so Karl’s needs are met on a personal level rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

“Having a person-centred plan has empowered him to get the appropriate care. We have the flexibility to say if it’s not working. It sounds simple, but it’s radical. It’s not box ticking, it’s about the person.

“We got in touch recently to tweak things due to changes in Karl’s needs. The changes were made within a week, which was unheard of before.

“Karl feels he is more involved. He can tell us what he would like and we are implementing what he needs to promote his independence and self-care.”

Councillor Stuart Wallace, Chair of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Adult Social Care and Health Committee, said: “We have already introduced joint health and social care budgets in Nottinghamshire so it’s great news that we have been selected for a national pilot scheme to roll out these budgets for all residents with care needs.

“We are also working closer with health colleagues to make sure that residents have greater influence on how their health and social care needs are being met.”