The woman in charge of commissioning health services in Cornwall has admitted that the service is failing people in the county.
Helen Childs, chief operating officer at NHS Kernow, said: “At the moment we are sadly failing the people that we serve with the quality of the services that we provide.”
She was speaking at an all member briefing at Cornwall Council on plans to integrate health and social care in Cornwall.
There has previously been concerns over the possibility of an Accountable Care System (ACS) or Accountable Care Organisation (ACO) being introduced in Cornwall which some fear would lead to the privatisation of health services in Cornwall.
However after holding a detailed inquiry into the plans, the council has stated that it is not looking to create an ACS or ACO but it does want to bring together social care services provided by the council and NHS services in Cornwall.
A statement read to the briefing from councillor Andy Virr, who chaired the inquiry, said that the evidence showed “overwhelmingly that doing nothing was not an option,” and that health and social care should be combined.
This would involve combining the budgets for the services and working together to provide the best care for people in Cornwall.
Under the proposals, the council would work together with Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group (KCCG), the Council of Isles of Scilly and NHS England to create a joined up approach to commissioning of health, social care and public health services.
Councillors were told that this would not mean the creation of a new organisation with all current organisations remaining in place and continuing to be responsible for individual services.
The briefing also heard that the council would not take on any debts from NHS organisations and that each organisation would continue to be responsible for those.
Rob Rotchell, Cabinet member for adults, said: “People are living longer but that doesn’t mean living longer healthily. That means people with much more complex needs are requiring care.”