Plans for the biggest joint health and social care provider in England to date are being considered by the Department of Health, HSJ understands.

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership Trust, which took on the area’s community services under transforming community services last September, is seeking to get approval to take on 907 social care staff from Staffordshire County Council.

A positive decision had been expected this afternoon but HSJ understands nothing will be finalised today.

If approved, about £150m will be transferred from the council’s social care budget, creating an organisation with a turnover of about £350m to provide community health services and social care to a population of about 830,000. Stoke-on-Trent City Council, which is a unitary authority, will continue to provide its own social care services.

This will makes it more than four times larger than the next biggest health and social care provider, the community interest company Sirona Care and Health, which covers Bath and North East Somerset.

Research by HSJ indicates there are currently just six organisations providing integrated community health services and social care including Wye Valley Trust in Herefordshire which also provides acute services. They serve an average population of about 165,000.

Torbay and Southern Devon Care Trust, which pioneered integration of health and social care, serves a population of about 140,000.

The trust and the council have signed up to the heads of terms of a legal agreement underpinning the relationship between the two parties covering a minimum period of 10 years.

The integrated business plan in support of the arrangement sets out potential for annual savings of up to £31.5m for the Staffordshire health economy.