A WORKSHOP was held to discuss plans to streamline care provision for older people in Dorset with complex needs and those with multiple long-term conditions.

Leaders and representatives from diverse aspects of healthcare and social services gathered at the one-day event.

More than 100 key stakeholders joined forces including representatives from commissioners, the voluntary sector, third party and independent sectors as well as education providers and the ambulance service.

Attendees responded positively to the call to join forces in a ‘think tank’ day of strategic planning towards the integration of their services.

The Better Together programme to join up health and social care is looking at the future of community-based teams for older people with complex needs and people living with multiple long-term conditions in Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole.

Leading the event, Sally Sandcraft, deputy director of review, design and delivery (East) NHS Dorset CCG, said: “The good work achieved at this event was informed by what we know people want and need locally and nationally.

“A reassuring and unanimous view across all attendees illustrated a real appetite for positive change and a passionate commitment to improving care for our older population.

“Everyone’s recommendations are helping to shape a proposal on the future of services which will be available for public comment during May.”

Christopher Beale, from Borough of Poole voluntary service, added: “It’s really good to hear so many people singing from the same hymn sheet. We need fundamental cultural change to meet current and future demands.”

One of the representatives from the GP practices, Dr Rachel Stowe, added: “It was a great opportunity to share ideas and to allow enthusiasm for collaborative care to flourish.

“There has always been a need but there is a real political and financial motivation now to push it forward.”

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