Magazine article Public Finance

PCT and Social Services Will Not Be Forced to Merge

Magazine article Public Finance

PCT and Social Services Will Not Be Forced to Merge

Article excerpt

Primary care trusts and local authority adult social services will be made to work more closely together, but they will not be asked to merge.

This week's white paper on out of hospital care included measures to align the planning, budgeting, inspection and performance management of PCTs and social services.

But it proposed no further structural change and marginalised NHS care trusts, which formally merge NHS and social services under one management. However, it does commit to forming joint health and social care networks or management teams by 2OO8, seen by many as virtual care trusts.

Local Area Agreements will be the major mechanism for the partners to plan and deliver services. There will also be a strengthened role for adult social services directors, and public health directors will be given a wider remit.

The white paper sidestepped the question of making charging regimes and eligibility criteria more uniform across the country These were matters for Sir Michael Lyons' inquiry into local government funding, Sir Derek Wanless' review of adult social care and, ultimately, next year's Comprehensive Spending Review, it said. …

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