Health And Wellbeing Hub Plans Progressing Well

Plans for the creation of a Health and Wellbeing Hub at St Mary’s Hospital are progressing well, says Penny Penn Howard, Director of Community Services at the Council.

The creation of the hub will bring together health and social care under a single organisation and is part of a programme of changes to healthcare provision across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Penny told Tuesday’s Community Services Committee that the first meeting of the Community Hub Forum, which is overseeing the integration of the services, took place at the end of September.

She says there is an ambitious plan to integrate the two services by April of next year and part of this process is to get the two teams, from the NHS and the Council, sitting and working together more closely.

They have identified space at St Mary’s hospital, which is currently being used for storage, to accommodate Council staff and added they’re “twisting the arm of the PCT” to give them a bit of money to fit out the space.

However, she says it may be difficult to combine IT systems due to strict confidentiality and safety requirements.

Penny’s report states that the new hub will “utilise financial and human resources more efficiently.” She told Councillors that the skills of all staff across both organisations had been mapped and they’re reviewing areas of strength and weakness.

But Councillor Fred Ticehurst was concerned about the language being used, saying often it was difficult to work out exactly what was going on and they need to “cut out the jargon.”

Penny said it was now time for the two organisations to start working together closely and used the analogy of a train. She said everyone had to get on board, even if they were all bringing different baggage along.