Mental health and social care are set to begin working together even more closely in Suffolk following the introduction of a new role to jointly lead services across the county.
With the creation of the first fully integrated post at director level, the new role builds on the existing partnership between the county council and local mental health trust which sees social workers from the council operate as part of integrated mental health teams.
Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) and Suffolk County Council (SCC) intend to introduce the joint post by the summer.
The new director will then lead the transformation of health and social care services for people with mental health and learning disabilities in Suffolk, while being operationally responsible for overseeing the running of all of NSFT’s community and inpatient services across the county (with the exception of Suffolk Wellbeing and secure services).
They will also lead and manage all of the county council’s services for mental health and learning disabilities, together with their commissioning budget for these services.
Michael Scott, NSFT Chief Executive, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Suffolk County Council to create this innovative new post, which is in line with our long-held ambitions to bring health and social care together.
“The successful applicant will focus on making sure our service users and patients receive seamless services, regardless of who is providing them.
“Over time, we hope that we can integrate our mental health teams and services even more closely with those provided by our colleagues in social care to improve their quality while making them easier for people to navigate.”
Sue Cook, Interim Director for Adults and Community Services and Corporate Director for Children and Young People’s Services with Suffolk County Council, said: “We believe that we can offer better and more joined up services for the people we serve by working more closely with our partners. We already have a strong history of this in Suffolk, where social workers form part of the integrated mental health teams, and we look forward to building upon that strong foundation still further with the introduction of this new role.”
At NSFT the new role will replace the previous Operations Director for Suffolk post.