Plans to improve patient care through greater integration of health, social care and voluntary sector services have been discussed by local health chiefs.

At its meeting last week the board of NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds received an update on how existing acute and community services are transforming to deliver better, joined-up care closer to people’s homes, so avoiding many patients having unplanned admissions to hospital.

Within Wharfedale, Airedale and Craven work started in October last year to develop community-based support teams close to the places where patients live.

The new teams will help reduce some patients’ dependence on hospital care, particularly older people with long-term conditions and complex health problems by offering an alternative pathway of care.

The work is being led by Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group and it will eventually be rolled out district-wide.

Differences in services will include: services delivered closer to where the patient lives; seamless care between hospital, community, social and primary care services; streamlined communications and paperwork meaning patients avoid having to repeat their story to different health and social care professionals; personalised care with a co-ordinated care plan, where the patient is involved in the decision-making process; access to support and/or treatment any time of the day or night; support and treatment focused on preventing, as well as treating, ill health and patients’ GPs and practice nurses fully up-to-date with all decisions about treatment through improved communications.

The board supported the decision to direct funding into the new integrated care model for patients.

Councillor Amir Hussain, executive member for Adult Services at Bradford Council, said: “Reducing health inequalities is a council priority and the integrated care programme which we are working on with our health partners is a step in this direction.

“It will also lead to accessible, joined-up health and social care services and better outcomes for local people. This is much more important than the buildings in which staff are based.”

As the stepped approach to integrated care continues, buildings used by all organisations involved will be mapped so that best use can be made of them, or spare resources can be freed up for reinvestment in patient care.

As part of the plans to promote the community based support teams the building of a new health and wellbeing centre in Keighley have been scrapped.