Connecting Health and Social Care (CH&SC)

Last updated: 15 October 2012 

The journey

The Connecting Health and Social Care (CH&SC) programme’s purpose is to deliver an integrated care service model in Dorset by establishing teams of health and social care professionals with independent and voluntary sector input.  

These integrated teams are linked with GP practices to provide joined up, needs led, personalised services.  Each patient has a key worker within the team to co-ordinate care and act as a single point of contact.  The aim is to deliver person centred care, maximising self care, self management and choice.  

The change is based on the theory that health services have become over-specialised and over-defined between primary and secondary care and physical and mental health with an artificial separation of health and social care at the point of delivery. The service aims to reduce duplication and free up capacity improving efficiency and effectiveness and to inform new management structures and organisational design within the whole system of care delivery.



The programme has now established integrated teams and is planning for co-location.  Common referral and assessment processes have been agreed and are being implemented.   A model of service has been agreed and is supported across the system and the team are now looking at the interface between physical and mental health services.


Patient setting

In-patient   X Out-patient   X Community based   X
Mental health   X Chronic illness   X Cross-systems   X


Clinical area

Staying healthy   X Maternity and newborn   X Children and young people   X Acute care   X
Planned care   X Mental health   X Long-term conditions   X End of life   X


Information, tools and techniques used

The programme is reflected in the Joint Commissioning Strategy as the delivery mechanism for an integrated model of care. Within the programme there are many strands of work supporting the delivery of whole system change.



The programme has focussed on Dorset (excluding Bournemouth and Poole) covering a population of approximately 400,000.



The programme was initiated in 2009 and is still ongoing.


Contact details and further information

Ian Brennan, Head of Connecting Health and Social Care for Dorset:

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