Plan to join up social services and NHS care in Blackburn

SOCIAL services could join up with NHS care under new plans for Blackburn with Darwen. The proposals would mean that primary care trust NHS Blackburn with Darwen would be upgraded to a new-style “Care Trust Plus”, taking on the council’s social care responsibilities. It is hoped that the move would save money as well as improving services for patients and their families.

The primary care trust and Blackburn with Darwen Council are set to hold a series of public meetings to discuss the changes, and are also calling on residents to make their views known through questionnaires.

The consultation period will be open until June, when the council and the PCT will make a formal decision on whether to bid for the new status. If accepted, they hope to have the Care Trust Plus up and running by April 2010.

The council and the PCT already work closely together, particularly on the Re:fresh campaign to improve public health, which has included the council offering free leisure to everyone living or working in the borough.

NHS Blackburn with Darwen chief executive Judith Griffin said: “We have along history of close partnership working between the NHS and council in Blackburn with Darwen. Now we want to go a step further by joining our health and social care commissioning teams together.

“These teams do a really important job because they are responsible for planning and buying NHS and social care services and it makes sense to do this work together, using existing legislation.”

Residents can find out more and fill in a comment form at, and paper copies are available in PCT and council buildings. Information is also available on the customer helpline, 0800 0155330.

Public meetings will be held at Blackburn Town Hall on June 15, at Darwen Health Centre on June 18, on May 21 at Darwen Library Theatre, and on May 28 at Blackburn Central Library.