Care services must relate to a wide range of individuals, professionals and services to which their service users need to have access. Partnership working, including with the sharing of relevant information, is key to effective service delivery particularly in respect of:

  • service commissioning and contracting

  • referrals and needs assessments

  • transfers to other care services such as hospital admissions and discharges

  • service users with complex needs or long-term conditions requiring multi-agency involvement

  • end-of-life care

  • safeguarding.

As integrated health and social care systems are rolled out, there will be a need for care providers to adapt to the new models of care being developed and commissioned.

Responsibilities for a person’s care, treatment and support are most likely to be shared with outside organisations. It is therefore important to have standards to make sure that service users benefit from these other services.

This topic identifies the relevant issues that care service managers and staff must address to understand and comply with their regulatory requirements for partnership working, and their potential role in integrated care delivery. It deals with the situations in which the regulations and guidance apply and the policies and procedures required by the service to make sure that they are achieving the required standards.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of close working relationships between health and social care services and supporting agencies.

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