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Jeremy Hunt to pilot integrated health plans for social care users



A pilot programme will see users of adult social care services receive a joint health and care plan.

The £1m trial, in Gloucestershire, Lincolnshire and Nottingham, comes as part of health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt’s plans to integrate the two services.

It will also see him setting out a 10-year joint workforce strategy, and consult on a proposal for integrated health and social care personal budgets to be extended to include those with the ‘greatest ongoing social care needs’.

In his first speech since adding social care to his health brief, Mr Hunt said that following his reforms NHS and social care systems should be ‘operating as one’.

More detail would be announced in a green paper, set to be published this summer, including proposals to reform social care funding. This could include a reinstated cap on care costs, as well as an insurance or savings model for younger people, reports said.

Mr Hunt said: ‘Too many people experience care that is not of the quality we would all want for our own mum or dad… Resolving this will take time. But that must not be an excuse to put off necessary reforms.

‘Nor must it delay the debate we need to have with the public about where the funding for social care in the future should come from – so the Green Paper will jump-start this vital debate.’

A CQC report published last year found that nearly a fifth of English social care providers were rated as ‘requires improvement’.