Torbay's care co-ordination praised by minister

Minister Norman Lamb: "It's co-ordinated in the patient's interest... it's not rocket science"

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The way elderly and disabled people are cared for in Torbay has been praised by a government minister.

Norman Lamb, the Minister for Care and Support, said the bay had a good model by having one co-ordinator of health and care services per patient.

He said it improved care, saved money and the government was hoping to roll out a similar approach nationally.

The Torbay Care NHS Trust said there had been national and international interest in its co-ordinated approach.

'Stop crises'

Ministers want to end vulnerable people being passed around the health and care systems.

Mr Lamb said a series of 10 pioneer projects was to be launched at the end of the summer.

The idea is to try to bring together health and social care by encouraging GPs, nurses and social workers co-operating more closely, he said.

Mr Lamb said: "In Torbay, they've identified people who need co-ordinated and continuing support.

"Everybody has a named individual that is responsible for their care and the whole thing is joined up in the patient's interest.

"If you do that, you stop crises from occurring which could be enormously disruptive to that patient and incredibly costly to the system."

Torbay Care Trust said it "was one of the first areas in the country to benefit from this integration of health and social care and 'the Torbay model' and 'Mrs Smith' [a scenario the trust developed about a typical older lady who needed a range of services] has been of growing national and international interest ever since".

It added: "Although many organisations now deliver some level of integrated care, the approach locally is still held up as being an early example of excellence, and of genuine innovation."

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