Green light for joint healthcare and social care budget

Spend on a raft of services has been placed into the single Older People's Pooled Budget, to be overseen jointly by Oxfordshire County Council and the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG), following ratification today from the county council's decision-making Cabinet.

The budget will be around £188m for 2013/14 bringing under one financial umbrella money for the first time for areas such as dementia and stroke services; support for sensory impairment; end of life care and a range of mental health services.

The joint fund will also cover other services including home care, care home placements and continuing health care.

The financial linkage builds on the already close working relationship between the two organisations, enabling even closer integration of health and social care, leading to better experiences for patients and service users.

Oxfordshire's public to benefit

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, the Leader of Oxfordshire County Council and the Chairman of Oxfordshire's Health and Wellbeing Board, said: "I am delighted that this agreement has been reached as I believe that it will greatly benefit the people of Oxfordshire by ensuring the best joint use of available resources from a single budget.

"It will further align work carried out by the council's adult social care teams and services that are commissioned by the Clinical Commissioning Group enabling joint working in crucial areas where action is required from both parties, such as emergency admissions to hospitals and care home placements."

Improving outcomes for people

Stephen Richards, Chief Executive at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "We know from talking to local people and health and social care providers that this shared approach has support. We look forward to working with the County Council to commission high quality services that will help further improve health and social care outcomes for people."