Primary care home and social care: working together

Welcome to this guide on how colleagues in adult social care and primary care can work more closely together through the primary care home (PCH) model.
Both primary care and social care have so much in common – both are rooted in local communities with a unifying commitment to securing the best outcomes for individuals and families and a good understanding of local needs. Effective primary care and social care are vital to enabling people to live well, as healthily and independently as possible, while reducing the need for hospital care and long-term residential care.
There are some great examples where local communities are benefitting from primary care and social care working well together to support local communities. But we also know that challenges remain – relationships and working arrangements between colleagues have varied from place to place and there are deep differences between the two services in terms of governance, funding and professional cultures and ways of working. The primary care home model offers some real opportunities to overcome these barriers and achieve better integration of services.
This guide is designed to strengthen relationships between primary care and social care. It provides an overview of the different landscapes of each service and the national policy developments that make closer working both more desirable and more important than ever. It describes opportunities for collaboration and integration at the level of the individual patient, the local population and the wider system, with examples of places that are overcoming the obstacles and making progress.
There are now more than 200* primary care homes across England. As the PCH model continues to spread and as an established primary care network (PCN) becomes a core component of integrated care systems (ICSs), we encourage everyone working in primary care and adult social care to be part of the change – to strike up conversations about how they can work within the model to improve wellbeing, design new integrated pathways and support people to live as well and independently as possible in their own homes and communities.
With a new NHS 10-year plan taking shape and a green paper on adult social care expected later this year, there has never been a more important time for primary care and social care to strengthen their working relationship in the interests of patients, service users and carers.

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