STRUCTURE:  Social workers could join GP surgeries under plans being developed by Surrey County Council.

It is exploring the idea of putting social workers who care for older people into practices.

The proposal aims to allow the professionals to work together face-to-face to ensure all needs are covered and there is no duplication.

Council cabinet member for adult social care and health Michael Gosling said: “GPs and social care staff play a vital role in treating and supporting older people so it makes sense to look at new ways of helping them work closer together, especially as we prepare to take on a much bigger role in health.

“We are at an early stage in the development of this idea but putting our staff into GP practices has the potential to remove barriers to communication and unnecessary bureaucracy, giving patients a better service and helping them stay in the homes they love.”