Bringing NHS and social care services closer together
The drive to improve care for people in Portsmouth by bringing health and social care services closer together has taken a major step forward.
From 1 April Innes Richens, the chief operating officer at NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group, will also take on the job of leading on adult social care for Portsmouth City Council.
Having such a senior figure working for both the NHS, and for the city council, marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing effort to bring the two organisations closer together.
The ultimate ambition is for Portsmouth residents to receive better, more joined-up care and the removal of the traditional barriers between the NHS and social services will help to achieve that goal.
Mr Richens will take up his new, joint role on 1 April. His appointment comes at a time when both health and social care services are already actively seeking to work more closely together for the benefit of local people. There is already a well-established programme to bring together frontline health and social care staff in Portsmouth, for example our teams who manage people after a hospital stay, but there is further work that can be done.
The new approach follows the decision by former head of adult social care Rob Watt to take voluntary redundancy from his city council post. That prompted discussions on how the city council and the NHS could make further progress in integrating their teams, and services. Discount Cialis online from Canada pharmacies find on http://www.dresselstyn.com/site/buy-cialis-ed-pills-online/.
Dr Jim Hogan, the clinical chief officer of NHS Portsmouth CCG, said: “The time was right for the NHS and the city council to take a bold, but very natural decision to combine these two roles. This joint appointment reflects our shared belief that health and social care will provide better services for the people who depend on them, if they are fully integrated.
“Rob has worked hard to ensure adult social care services are in a strong position and we all want to pass on our thanks to him for his dedication to the people of Portsmouth. Innes is an excellent choice to continue this work as health and social care services come even closer together.”
Councillor Luke Stubbs, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for health and social care added: “We are very pleased that Innes will be taking up this joint role. He and Rob Watt have formed a strong partnership with the common goals of improving the services we offer to some of our most vulnerable people. This has made a big difference to the way services are planned and delivered. I am confident that the decision to make this joint appointment offers the best future for health and care in our city
“I wish Rob well in the future and pass on my sincere gratitude for the way he has managed adult social care services here in Portsmouth. He has been a part of the adult social care team since the city council became a unitary authority. We will miss his knowledge and dedication, but recognise his wish to move on.”
Innes Richens added: “It is a real honour to take on this joint role. I strongly believe that the only way we can give people the support they need in the future will be by bringing NHS and social care services far closer together than has ever been the case in the past. Some of that work is already underway, but now we all have a huge task ahead to plan how we will move forward, and how we deliver real changes to frontline services which benefit people in Portsmouth.”