Residents, organisations and groups interested in public health services in Croydon are being asked to submit their views on a new partnership agreement between Croydon Council and Croydon Health Services NHS Trust (CHS).
The two bodies have drawn up proposals to continue and build upon working practices that have the potential to provide greater flexibility, better coordination and the development of innovative approaches across three health service areas in the borough. These are integrated sexual health, health visiting and family nurse partnership, and school-aged nursing and immunisations.
The plans fall under Section 75 of the NHS Act 2006, designed to support local authorities and NHS bodies to work more closely together, sharing expertise and providing a closer link between health services, care services and public health. The agreements allow local authorities and the NHS to improve services for users either through pooling budgets, where two organisations bring together resources, and/or by delegating functions, where one organisation carries out an agreed function on behalf of another.
The proposed Section 75 agreements would not change the way that services are currently delivered in the borough, but continue and formalise the existing relationship between the council and the trust. Pending the results of the consultation, the revised arrangement would commence on 1 April.
The regulations of the 2006 Act require that potential partners jointly consult with stakeholders who may be affected by such a partnership arrangement. Members of the public can comment on the council and CHS plans via a public consultation at https://getinvolved.croydon.gov.uk. The consultation, which opened on Wednesday, 9 December, closes at 5pm on 27 January 2016.
Councillor Louisa Woodley, cabinet member for families, health and social care
“We understand people want and deserve the best possible public services, which protect and improve their health and well-being. Through these proposed arrangements, we have the opportunity to continue to work closely with our colleagues in the NHS to respond effectively to improve services, either by joining up existing, or by developing new, coordinated services.
“Croydon Council and Croydon Health Services have a longstanding working relationship, and the steps we are proposing for these service areas aim to improve the health and well-being of our residents, as well as working towards reducing some of the health inequalities identified in our annual public health report.”
John Goulston, chief executive of Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, said: “By working together, we can continue to improve access to healthcare, advice and support when it’s needed – especially during those all-important early years.
“Our health visitors provide expert advice and support to families with children under five years of age, looking after more than 28,700 children in the borough. We provide care for children in schools, and at home, and our Family Nurse Partnership works to support young mothers from disadvantaged backgrounds, to give them and their families the best start in life.
“For adults of all ages in Croydon, our sexual health service offers confidential care and support. We also go out to colleges and other community locations to meet with young people on their terms to help them stay safe and offer contraception advice.
“We know that our families and clients want services to be more joined-up. Partnering with Croydon Council will help us to deliver more coordinated care and make services as effective as they can be.”
How the public can give their views
Online consultation documents are available at https://getinvolved.croydon.gov.uk
A summary of the consultation responses and next steps will be available in the spring.
If you would like further information about the consultation, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Printed copies of the consultation documents can be obtained by emailing email@example.com with ‘Request for questionnaire’ in the subject bar, or write, with your name and full postal address, to: Children and Families Partnership, Croydon Council, 4G Bernard Weatherill House, 8 Mint Walk, Croydon CR0 1EA.