Concerns over integrated care body

PUBLISHED: 09:00 30 June 2012

The council says the new service could come into force in April next year

The council says the new service could come into force in April next year

Archant

A NEW care body combining the adult and children’s health and social services in North Somerset has come under fire from concerned councillors.

The organisation, which will see the bodies working together to create a service called the Integrated Care Organisation, an NHS Trust, could come into force as early as next April.

But some councillors are concerned the new scheme could ‘disintegrate’ the link between schools in North Somerset, and the children and young people’s services that currently serve them at North Somerset Council.

The new organisation could see health workers in four teams across North Somerset.

North Somerset Council says the move could give patients – ranging from children to elderly people – a single point of contact.

But the move has also come under fierce criticism from some quarters, with union Unison claiming the move is ‘privatisation’ and will see parts of the organisation sold off to private firms.

The move was discussed at North Somerset’s adult services and housing policy and scrutiny panel on June 15, where several councillors raised concerns.

Liberal Democrat councillor Mike Bell, who was at the meeting, said: “My worry is that children in particular just don’t naturally fit into an NHS model – there are a lot of risks.

“For example, children obviously have a very close relationship with schools and if they integrate the NHS with the schools then that could disintegrate the relationship between the schools and the children and young people services.

“Is it right that the schools’ first point of contact with the organisation could now be at Weston General Hospital? I just don’t think that’s a natural relationship.”

Independent councillor Donald Davies said: “The fact that these four teams are going to be centred on GP surgeries could be very problematic for people living in rural areas.

“Quite how this will work for staff has got to be questioned – is what we need at the moment another reorganisation?

“Also, will the new system allow councillors to interfere in how things are run?”

The plans are currently out for consultation.

You can let the council know your thoughts on the move by completing an online questionnaire on the authority’s website.

Consultation ends on July 31, before results are published on August 30.

More from Weston Mercury

Volunteers at Weston’s RNLI waved off their smaller, life-saving boat as it was replaced by a new vessel.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:00

A Cheddar man has been hailed volunteer of the year after dedicating years to preserving an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

Read more
Yesterday, 18:02

An electronic music duo will play tracks from their first studio album in six years this week.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

A Weston care provider has won an industry award for being the best employer.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:00

Visitors to Weston’s Grand Pier will be able to immerse themselves in a new state-of-the-art virtual reality experience once it is unveiled this weekend.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:25

Weston slipped up at home to high-flying Woking, with defensive errors proving costly.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:13

Runners dressed as reindeer, elves and Santas and raced across Weston-super-Mare beach in the Christmas Cracker 10k.

Read more
Weston-super-Mare
Yesterday, 06:55

The following cases were heard at North Somerset Courthouse from November 5-14.

Read more
In The Dock
Mon, 20:00

Two of the West Country’s top performing choral groups will bring their melodic tunes to Weston this Christmas.

Read more
Mon, 16:00

A Cheddar school has been praised for its ‘shared vision for care and inclusion’ by an education watchdog.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 4°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists