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Pilot schemes unveiled for health and social care

Patients in 16 pilot sites will benefit from a trial to see how health and social care services can join together to increase quality of care, ministers have announced.

The £4m two-year Integrated Care Pilots, announced by health minister Ben Bradshaw and care services minister Phil Hope, will task each site with coming up with ways to tackle particular health needs locally.

Durham Dales Integrated Care Organisation will look at improving rural community healthcare, along with seven partner groups, which together aim to reduce inequalities.

Meanwhile, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is tasked with creating a preventive service for the over-60s to reduce falls, therefore limiting admissions to hospital.

Sunderland's Church View Medical Practice will focus on providing better medical treatment for older people.

Finally, Northumbria Health Care NHS Foundation trust will turn its attention to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients.

Ben Bradshaw said: "This programme provides an opportunity for clinicians - working closely with the community more widely - to use their 'on the ground' knowledge to design services that are flexible, personalised and seamless.

"That way, people will get the integrated health and social care they need, all in one place, to help manage their condition effectively."

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Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust