Steve Wakefield ponders the possible breakup of the NHS

Health and well-being will be high on the council’s agenda as a white Paper is published this week. The government want council’s to be responsible for the Leadership of local public health. Council’s will use local health and well being boards acting as a forum to bring everyone together locally, GP commissioners and health champions. It is hoped that this will free up local government to get to the heart of local health matters. It may be the first step to the break up of the NHS?

However the Cabinet at Swindon Council is already moving in this direction and has given its initial backing for the creation of a social enterprise providing all adult health and social care services in its area. The move is part of a continued drive to integrate health and social care services for Swindon. It will see employees from the local authority and Swindon Primary Care Trust transferred across under TUPE to the new body. This may be decided on at a meeting of the council on 16th December 2010 and if accepted it be the first time such a social enterprise had been set up in England for these services.

Though a social enterprise is believed to be the preferred option of the director of adult social care at Swindon Council and the PCT, a full business case examining its feasibility and the various other options available have to be considered before the meeting and the options will be presented to councillors to decide on.

This may be debated at the Council meeting on 16th December 2010 at 7pm. Watch this space.