A clinical commissioning group and local authority will set up a joint board with executive powers in a bid to further integrate health and social care commissioning.
Southampton CCG and the city council have approved plans to create the combined body, which will be responsible for an initial budget of at least £105m.
The organisations hope shared commissioning will lead to more “intelligent commissioning” and a focus on prevention and early intervention.
The board will take responsibility for commissioning the existing integrated commissioning arrangements between the CCG and council, under a section 75 as part of the better care fund.
A report presented to the CCG and council said the board’s scope could grow to cover services such as:
- community health services for adults such as nursing, podiatry, and palliative care;
- rehabilitation, reablement and discharge services;
- prevention and early intervention services; and
- integrated services for children with complex health needs.
The scope could include services within both health and social care where commissioning responsibility remains solely with the CCG or council but where funding is “aligned” to deliver a jointly agreed strategy.
In 2016-17, integrated commissioning yielded combined savings of £6.4m within adult social care (£2.4m), public health (£1m) and the CCG’s budget (£3m), the report said.
A spokeswoman for the CCG said: ”Significant efficiencies and improvements to services have been made through the work of the CCG and council’s integrated commissioning unit. The primary purpose of the new board is to streamline decision making processes across the organisations.
”A key feature of the integrated commissioning unit is to reduce emergency attendances and admissions, including mental health. As it stands legally section 75 agreements cannot cover interventional services which many emergency care services would include.
”The section 75 we currently have is far bigger than the minimum requirement under the Better Care pooling arrangements and covers social care, mental health, elements of public health and community services.”
The new board’s terms of reference said the pooled budget will “contain a mechanism for dealing with significant changes to the funding or statutory responsibilities of either organisation” that affect the areas within the board’s scope.
The report highlighted several benefits of shared commissioning, including sharing data and good practice evidence, reducing duplication, and enabling providers to “develop more innovative integrated pathways and organisational models”.
The new board will have three CCG governing body members, nominated by the CCG chair, and three cabinet members from the council.
Chairing the board will rotate between a representative from the council and the CCG.
The board will meet monthly in public from April 2018 and its decisions will be examined by the council’s health overview and scrutiny committee.
- Article updated at 11.33am on August 11 to include response from Southampton CCG.
Governing body report