Newcastle Gateshead Leaders sign a ‘Statement of Intent’.
Newcastle and Gateshead face persistent and high levels of health inequality and Council social care budgets are being cut as resources have fallen and are vulnerable to further cuts. Investment in preventative social care and public health, and other areas where there is no statutory duty, are under particularly acute threat.
The NHS in the area is facing a different but no less difficult set of challenges. With service demand rising and constrained budgets within the NHS itself and the impact of reduced social care impacting discharges and other areas, the system is under considerable strain, with falling performance outcomes in some areas and increasing incidences of budget deficits.
Joint working across health and local government including but extending beyond the integration of health and social care could play an important role in reducing budget pressures and improving outcomes. It could also play a role in sustaining and developing the economy of the region. Health and social care are a key part of the economy, in terms not only of employment, but also innovation and as a growing export industry. The issue is how best to enable a whole system approach to be developed which is more robust and fit-for-purpose yet realistic building on the excellent work already underway between a range of health and social care partners in the Newcastle and Gateshead area. The purpose of this Statement of Intent is to provide a framework to enable such changes to be made.
The statement of intent commits all the following parties to the actions set out in the document: