A long-running agreement on joint commissioning of health and social care has come to an end because of the government’s health reforms.
Peterborough City Council has decided it wants to provide adult social care services itself rather than providing the budget for the health service to do it on its behalf. The decision - which NHS Peterborough said was mutual - will mean 500 staff transfer to the council on 1 March.
But the council’s interim director of social services denied that service users would notice any difference in services as a result. Terry Rich said: ”We are not retreating from integrated working - it is a recognition that the world has changed.”
NHS Peterborough had commissioned adult social care on behalf of the council since 2004, initially delivering them through its provider arm. Since April, services have been hosted by Cambridgeshire Community Services Trust.
Last September the council decided it wanted to take over the commissioning, citing the abolition of primary care trusts in 2013 as a reason.
Wayne Fitzgerald, cabinet member for adult social care, said at the time: “Given the scale of government reforms, it is important that we plan ahead so that adult social care services continue to meet the needs of the public.”
Initially it looked as if the council would commission some services from the community services trust but now it has decided it will provide the services itself.
Matthew Winn, chief executive of the trust, said: “The trust board is disappointed that Peterborough City Council has reached the decision to transfer all adult social care services back to the council.”
He said the trust would continue to discuss with the council that health and social care services were provided on an integrated basis “wherever possible”.
The adult social care budget was planned to be around £40m for this financial year but spending has increased rapidly and the budget for the coming year is expected to be around £50m.
Mr Rich acknowledged that this needed to be controlled. ”It is absolutely critical that we have a social care system which is affordable and robust,” he said.