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Cost Shunting

Volume 459: debated on Thursday 3 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the oral answer to the hon. Member for Falmouth and Camborne (Julia Goldsworthy) of 24 April 2007, Official Report, column 777, on cost shunting, whether she has made an assessment of the merits of permitting primary care trusts and local authority social services departments (a) to amalgamate to form one organisation and (b) to amalgamate their budgets to operate strategically through a single budget. (134991)

The Department encourages close co-operation between local authorities and primary care trusts as this is in the best interests of the overall health and social care system and in improving the health and well-being of local communities. The approach taken to this co-operation is a matter for local decision, but there are powers to make joint appointments and for partnership arrangements, which include powers to create single pooled budgets, to be established as permitted under section 75 of the NHS Act 2006 and for an application to be made to the Secretary of State to establish a care trust as permitted under section 45 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001.