Headlines: April 20th, 1999

Health Secretary Frank Dobson has responded to the Health Select Committee criticism of weaknesses in the relationship between health and social services. He declared an end to turf wars and pledged improved joint working.

Local Authorities and NHS bodies started work on Health Improvement Programmes this month and the Programmes will play a major part in fostering joint working among all agencies including social services. There will also be new operational flexibilities, including pooled budgets. It is also planned to streamline resources between agencies, avoiding duplication, and eliminating gaps.

The Committee recommended that incentives should be given to health and
social services to encourage joint working between them, but there is no indication yet about how this recommendation will be handled.