Current policy places great emphasis on the development of "partnerships", particularly between NHS and local authority services, with the aims of increasing service coordination and delivery and improving health. To this end, primary care groups (PCGs), at the forefront of NHS organizational developments, are required to include a social services representative on their governing boards; similarly, primary care trusts (PCTs) have a social services representative on their executive committees. Drawing on a representative longitudinal national survey of English PCGs, the paper evaluates the contribution of these new governance arrangements to the development of inter-agency partnerships. Despite poor histories of collaboration and some major organizational barriers, there are some signs of progress, with social services representatives playing an active part in PCG affairs and having clear lines of communication about PCG matters with their employing authorities. Equally significantly, PCGs have also quickly established a wide range of contacts directly with other local authority services and departments. However, these early gains risk being limited by traditional professional inequalities between social work and medicine and, in particular, by the prospect of further organizational upheaval as PCGs merge with each other and/or acquire trust status.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Social Policy and Administration|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|
- Primary care