The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care made the commitment following a question raised by MP for Northampton South, Andrew Lewer, regarding the white paper on health and social care integration that the Government released in February.
Under the paper’s proposals, which can be read online, the Government would appoint figureheads at the local level to bring together both NHS and local government resources. With this the plans aim to “bridge the gap” and “jointly deliver for local communities” to address the “moral outrage of persistent health disparities” under the current system.
Other proposed benefits of integrating health and social care services include a bettering of the Healthy Life Expectancy (HLE), greater “interconnected” services between the two bodies, better access to data and technology for professionals to make decisions, a well as a “more agile workforce” as care workers and NHS staff could operate between the two.
Andrew Lewer asked in the Commons: "I thank the Secretary of State for his references to the work going on in Northamptonshire over health and social care integration.
“Can he assure me that that central role of local government in ensuring health and social care services work together to make the most efficient use of local resources will continue and give me a clear guarantee that adult social care will not be taken over by the NHS?”
Sajid Javid answered with: “I am pleased to give my honourable friend that assurance that he seeks.
"The Integration White Paper that signals our intent to go further and faster on Health and Social Care integration, building on the work that’s already been done by the NHS in social care and by local government jointly to deliver services.
"That plan will lead to better collaboration and we want to make sure that the responsibility overall still lies, as it is currently shared, between local authorities and the NHS.”