Police and Crime Commissioner what about a Health and Care Commissioner

This week the Prime Minister David Cameron said that he wants health and social services to work better, work differently and work together for the benefit of all but especially the care and support provided to older people. I could not agree more. It now looks like their will be a formal duty to co-operate, which is essentially the requirement of the Health and Well Being Board.

This government has done more in 18 months to shift the decision-making on Health than the previous government did in 13 years. The creation of the Health and Well Being Board is so fundamental, so significant, yet few outside the system realise the beneficial impact it will have on the stated aims of our Prime Minister and the aspirations of many of us, patients, families,and  staff, including myself in my role, who have to grapple with the system on a day-to-day basis. A system that the Prime Minister rightly says must do better.

Yet it also seems to me this is but a step and should only be a step towards a Health and Care Commissioner. The Police service is an incredibly important part of our lives but in terms of public interest, spend and number of people employed the Police service is but a minnow compared to the health service in all its many forms, it is true to say the police service is one organsiation whereas health is and will remain a collection of providers and services but all the more reason, I say.

As with the Police and Crime Commissioner an accountable person who has the mandate to hold Health’s Hospitals, GP’s and a range of services providers and the social care system to account in each area and to be held to account on this issue that after the economy is of the greatest concern to all of us our National Health Service.

I have the political responsibility for the care services in Suffolk, and as such am accountable for them. It is a significant responsibility but social care is only a part of a person’s journey and at times it feels a bit like playing tennis with one hand tied behind your back very, very restricting. Whilst the Health and Well Being Board is the place we can begin to join services together; ultimately elected Commissioners would have the mandate to drive and deliver the vision David Cameron set out last week.

The police service in Suffolk employs 2,400 people, the health and care services across Suffolk employs tens of thousands of staff. The police service has a net annual spend of £114.6 million; the health and care services spend runs into the billions, it is so vast in fact, that one of the first jobs of the Health and Well Being Board is to try to put down in one place exactly how much and how many people are employed across all the services. Adult Social Services alone spends more supporting older and vulnerable adults than double the entire police budget.

As was reported in various commentaries the most thorny outcome of a better service was sumed up by the NHS confederation’s deputy policy director, Jo Webber, said: “Integrating care will improve services, particularly for people who are frail and those with long term conditions. But it will also involve making some really difficult decisions as hospital activity is reduced and moved into the community.” Who better than an elected Commissioner to explain to communities why this traditional ‘red line in the sand’ for most residents and indeed Politicans is in fact a good outcoem not some thing to take to the streets over.

If it is right to have true democratic elected leadership in the policing service it is right in the health service, it’s a simply as that.

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal anything I write is promoted by Lance Stanbury on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Unit 8, Swan Lane Business Park, Exning, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7FN

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