A county council has launched an audacious bid to take over its local primary care trust.

Following a meeting of West Sussex county council last Friday, councillors agreed to adopt a motion calling for the local authority to give patients a greater say in their healthcare by "taking on the functions of the West Sussex PCT with those of the county council, to bring them under local democratic control and to improve working between health and social care functions, providing health funding is also appropriately reformed".

Council leader Henry Smith told HSJ he would write to health secretary Alan Johnson for approval.

"In the draft Queen's speech, the government is talking about much greater accountability and public involvement," he said.

"We're putting ourselves up to say if you're really up for this, we're up for this." He said social care was currently delivered more efficiently than healthcare.

PCT director Brian Hughes said the trust had not been aware that the council had planned to vote on the issue.

"From the PCT's viewpoint, our focus has to be on improving patient services. If you can work more closely with local authorities, that's good news. What is less clear is what specific patient benefit the council would hope to achieve by this structural change."

Mr Hughes said the PCT operated as effectively as social services.