During the inquiry, the panel – made up of six Cornwall councillors led by Chairman Dr Andy Virr – heard from Council Chief Executive Kate Kennally and Steven Pleasant, Chief Executive of Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council and Accountable Officer for NHS Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group.
In her evidence to the inquiry, Kate Kennally set out a range of potential options for future commissioning of health and social care services in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly from keeping the arrangements as they are at present to moving to strategic commissioning of health, social care and public health services through a new body such as a Joint Health and Care Committee.
With an Accountable Care System (ACS) having been in place in Greater Manchester for the last five years, Steven Pleasant talked about the reasons for moving to joint commissioning, how it works in practice as well as his experiences.
The inquiry days have been set up to hear from representatives of local health and care organisations, as well as patient groups and areas already developing an ACS, explained Dr Virr.
“Both we and our colleagues in the NHS are agreed that the way health and social care services are currently commissioned in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly won’t address the changing need of our communities. Our role is to consider the options put forward for integrated strategic commissioning and how this can be achieved,”
said Dr Virr.
“After the final inquiry session, we will consider the evidence and make our recommendation to the Council’s Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee, who will then consider our findings and make recommendations to the Cabinet. Any decision on this will ultimately rest with the 123 councillors who make up Cornwall’s elected representatives on the Council.”
Developing an ACS for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is a way of bringing together the network of existing statutory health and care providers and commissioners. An ACS does not change an organisation’s statutory and legal responsibilities, and will allow for one strategy, one budget and one plan approach to work together in people’s best interests, rather than those of each organisation.
As well as being in agreement about the approach, all are signed up to making progress and testing out the practicalities by working in shadow form during 2018/2019.
You can submit comments for the panel to consider while weighing up the evidence – please email firstname.lastname@example.org by 12noon on Wednesday 17 January.