Why Working together is the best medicine!

In County Durham there is a strong and well-established track record of effective partnerships and working together which has underpinned our approach to joining up health and social care services in local communities.

We have built on our strengths - vibrant communities, excellent services, outstanding relationships - to address inequalities. Our priorities are based on shared knowledge and an in-depth understanding of the people and places that make up County Durham.

We know that to meet the challenges facing our health and social care services we need to be able constantly improve the way we do things, to​​ put aside our organisational boundaries and concentrate on people who use services and are caring for each other.

Delivering joined up care closer to home

We’re joining up primary, community and social care to improve the experience of those using our services, delivering care closer to home, focussed on patient and service user need. 

Our health and social care staff work closer to patients in their homes which is helping to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions, avoid duplication and promote independence to help keep the people of County Durham happy healthy and at home. 

  • setting up 13 integrated primary, community and social care teams - Teams Around the Patient (TAPs) co-located in GP Practices
  • through the TAPs concentrated on our most frail residents, working together in multi-professional teams which have reduced length of stay, reduced care home admissions by 10%, streamlined pathways and reduced duplication
  • implemented a shared hospital discharge pathway using therapists as case managers. We now have one of the best levels of discharge performance in England
  • introduced a shared Urgent Community Urgent Response Service across the "place" jointly investing £800K
  • brought together our customer contact centres into a single hub
  • absorbed increased demand for services estimated to be £2.5 million in community services and social care
  • shared our nursing workforce including nursing oversight with our care home providers
  • welcomed our care home providers to share NHS training and development resources
  • brought together teams working in palliative care in the NHS and voluntary sector
  • set up a Care Academy to train the workforce of the future
  • jointly funded an additional 59 therapists working across our "place" investing £2.9m
  • created 12 integrated Community Specialist Practitioners to work with care homes
  • joined up Council social care and public health and CCG commissioning teams into a single management structure