Are ACOs the future for care?

By Heather Jameson | 29 June 2017

 As local government grapples with the twin pressures of austerity and shifting demographics, health and social care integration becomes an increasingly important tool to tackle the challenges ahead.  

At St Helens Council, chief executive Mike Palin says there are a number of challenges they have had to overcome. Initially, the council’s priorities focused around vulnerable people but Mr Palin suggests it was the wrong way of looking at it.

‘That’s not a prioritisation process,’ he says. ‘It is just the business of the council.’ Instead, the single priority was to act on the key areas of cost and demand and ensure services did not fall over. There is limited funding to go through transformation and integration, not to mention challenges around the sustainability and transformation partnerships (STP) process and that capacity is an issue – ‘how do you do the day job and deliver system change at the same time?’ he asks. 

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