“National Standards, Local Action; Health and Social Care Standards and Planning Framework 2005/06-2007-08”, published in July 2004, set out a standard-based planning framework for health and social care and standards for national health service health care to be used in planning, commissioning and delivering services.
The standards set out are focused on the provision of NHS health care, but recognise the need to develop services in a co-ordinated way, taking full account of the responsibilities of other agencies in providing comprehensive care and in particular, the statutory duties of partnership on all NHS bodies and local authorities established under the Health Act 1999 and the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003. This introduced requirements on both the NHS and local authorities to work together to achieve the co-operation needed to bring about improvements in health care.
The following specific targets for 2005 to 2008 were set for local authority social services and social services in partnership with the NHS:
improve the quality of life and independence of vulnerable older people by supporting them to live in their own homes where possible by:
increasing the proportion of older people being supported to live in their own home by 1 per cent. annually in 2007 and 2008; and
increasing by 2008 the proportion of those supported intensively to live at home to 34 per cent. of the total of those being supported at home or in residential care.
increase the participation of problem drug users in drug treatment programmes by 100 per cent. by 2008 (from a 1998 baseline); and increase year-on-year the proportion of users successfully sustaining or completing treatment programmes.
and although measured through NHS indicators, social services provide a major contribution to:
improve health outcomes for people with long-term conditions by offering a personalised care plan for vulnerable people most at risk; and to reduce emergency bed days by 5 per cent. by 2008 (from the expected 2003-04 baseline), through improved care in primary care and community settings for people with long-term conditions.