Published: 28/07/2005, Volume II5, No. 5966 Page 12

The white papers on healthcare outside hospitals and adult social care are to be combined into a single document, social care minister Liam Byrne has confirmed.

In a speech to a Department of Health conference on the adult social care green paper, which was published in May, Mr Byrne said it made no sense to have separate papers. 'Many of you have said it beggars belief, ' he said. 'I agree.' He called for a 'new alliance' between health and local government, before going on to acknowledge that the idea would cause concern in some quarters.

Mr Byrne told HSJ: 'The big issue is how we plan services around users rather than administrative convenience.' He anticipated a welcome from primary care, saying: 'When you look at a number of the incentives and the extension of payment by results to things like emergency admissions, you find that primary care professionals are interested in how the prevention agenda is made to work in practice.'

He added: 'There is clear evidence that investment in social care creates savings in healthcare. I have talked to primary care leaders doing all sorts of work hand in hand with social care. It is a way to develop services and release resources.'