New contract secures future of Lincolnshire’s mental health and social care services

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A renewed partnership between a county NHS trust and local authority has secured the provision of a range of vital health services until at least 2019.

Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) and Lincolnshire County Council have just put pen to paper on a new Section 75 agreement, which will continue the delivery of local integrated social care for people with mental health problems.

A Section 75 agreement is a ruling under the National Health Services Act 2006 between a local authority and an NHS body which allows the delegation of some council health-related functions.

LPFT initially signed the agreement back in 2001 when it was known as a Section 31, and over the years has worked closely with its local authority to help transform and streamline service delivery.

Principal Social Worker for LPFT, Steve Goddard, said with this renewed partnership, both organisations are leading the way to help improve how people access specialist healthcare in the 21st century.

He said: “At a time when some local authorities are departing from these types of contracts and reclaiming their social work responsibility from health trusts, this demonstrates a confidence in our partnership and commitment to integrated working.

“This can only be of benefit to the service users of Lincolnshire.

“For the last 15 years the people of Lincolnshire have benefitted from this effective streamlined service delivery, with healthcare workers and social workers operating in a single team, planning and delivering coordinated care for adults who experience mental health problems.”

The signing of the new contract has also secured renewed investment in the county’s Managed Care Network, a collection of charitable groups and organisations which offer a range of activities to help people on the road to recovery from mental ill health.

There are now 46 community projects making up the Managed Care Network, covering the whole of Lincolnshire, from friendship groups to sports coaching, arts and craft classes and vocational training.

Justin Hackney, Assistant Director of Adult Care at Lincolnshire County Council said: “The continuation of the existing arrangements between both organisations means there will be no need to disrupt existing service provision.

“Because LPFT also has a contract with local NHS commissioners it also means people aged 18 to 64 can access the mental health support they need via one provider.”