NHS organisations in the South West appear to be embracing the drive for closer working between the health service and local authorities.
Yeovil Foundation Trust has teamed up with South Somerset District Council to launch a joint tender for a new children’s nursery, while NHS Wiltshire hopes to transfer its public health responsibilities to Wiltshire Council as early as September.
Just over the border in the West Midlands, NHS Herefordshire, Herefordshire Council and Wye Valley Trust have formed a joint venture company to run back office shared services.
Its members are calling it a shared services company, rather than a joint venture, as they think it better reflects the “aspirations of the partners and provides appropriate branding”.
The company’s development follows the Transforming Community Services merger of Hereford Hospitals Trust, NHS Hereford’s provider arm and Hereford Council’s adult social care service to create Wye Valley Trust.
Back in the South West, the teacher’s pet of integration Torbay Care Trust has been featured in a best practice guide for emerging health and wellbeing boards.
But it seems not everyone wants to be part of the happy family. A group of dentists and podiatrists have used their right to request, provided under transforming community services, to ask Torbay’s board to back their plans to break away and form a social enterprise.
After initially turning down the request because it did not think the pitch demonstrated enough benefit to patients, the board changed its mind after the Department of Health intervened and have backed the plan after agreeing a longer timetable.