STRUCTURE: Commissioners across Bath and north east Somerset plan to create a pooled budget across health and social care as part of a review into community services in the region.

  • Bath and North East Somerset CCG and local authority propose pooling of health and social care budgets for community services
  • Consultation suggests creation of GP led “wellbeing hubs” to coordinate services
  • Each service user to have shareable digital service plans

The proposals also include the creation of GP led “wellbeing hubs”, configured around clusters of GP practices to organise service provision.

Bath

Commissioners in Bath and north east Somerset have proposed four care models for consultation

Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, working with Bath and North East Somerset Council, have proposed four care models, which are now being consulted on.

However, they have said whichever of these options are adopted, pooling of budgets will be explored to ensure services are “person centred and fully integrated”.

The draft consultation document said: “Whichever direction we take, there are some core values that we believe to be vital to a sustainable future for the local health and care system.

“We will explore opportunities to develop a single pooled budget across health and social care.”

One of the four service models would see the establishment of wellbeing hubs each serving a population of 30,000-50,000.

Each hub would be configured around groups of GP practices which will coordinate the provision of services by organisations from all sectors, including voluntary bodies and social enterprises.

The hubs would also be supported by commissioner to create “community maps” to identify the health and care needs of each local population.

The document also said: “The overarching service specification for the wellbeing hub would be set by the commissioner with separate service specifications agreed by the hub for contracting with providers according to local need.”

The other three options for organising community services are:

  • services based on specific conditions, for example diabetes, dementia and heart failure;
  • services based on specific functions, including discharge, prevention and end of life care; and
  • services coordinated by community led neighbourhood teams configured around existing “area forums”.

The proposals include a pledge that the health economy will use the latest technology to ensure there is a single service plan for every patient that can be easily shared by different care professionals.

The consultation document added: “We need to implement new models that dissolve the boundaries between primary care, community services, hospitals, social care, mental health services and the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.

“Providers will need to work more collaboratively… This could include forming joint ventures, becoming partners in alliance contracts, delivering care and support within devolved budgets or becoming partners within a formalised model of integrated service delivery.”

The consultation is open until 30 October. The results and a final business case will be presented to the council cabinet and CCG board for approval in December.