Better Care is a programme that aims to join up health and social care support for older or vulnerable people in Portsmouth.

NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Portsmouth City Council are jointly contributing £16 million of their funding to Better Care in 2015/16.

The council, the NHS, GPs and the voluntary sector will work closely together to use their resources to provide the best support possible for each individual to live as independently as they can for as long as possible. The programme also aims to reduce the number of people who need to be admitted to hospital as an emergency.

The Better Care Fund Plan for the city was approved by the  Health and Wellbeing Board in February 2014 and was developed jointly by the CCG and the council after talking to people who use services, as well as staff, health and social care providers and voluntary sector representatives. NHS England approved our local plan in September 2015.

To agree the details of the changes we are continuing to consult with service users and patients, their carers and families, the local workforce, and voluntary and community organisations.

To get involved, or to receive our regular newsletter, email

Together, the Better Care changes will take the pressure off services at Queen Alexandra Hospital by strengthening the services in the community that help people stay well. The changes will also provide for more complex care in the community so more of a person's needs can be met without needing to be admitted to hospital.  There are three main areas of change:

  • Joining up the separate health teams and social work teams to create three integrated teams serving the north, central and south of the city
  • Reviewing rehabilitation and reablement services which help people recover in their own home and regain their independence after a stay in hospital
  • Reviewing the focus of services we provide in beds in community hospitals and social care homes

Pilot schemes being run as part of Better Care include the Personal Independence Co-ordinators team run by Age UK Portsmouth. This scheme creates a new post working closely with our joined up health and social care teams and the voluntary sector.

They will support individuals and their family and carers by helping them understand the health and social care system and access the right services to meet their needs and be confident in re-joining their community  as they recover from a period of illness. We are also piloting

 work to increase support in nursing homes and extra care accommodation for residents who have become more unwell, so that they can get the right treatments without needing to transfer to hospital.

Life can be sweeter for the over 50s thanks to a free, new service - Personal Independence Co-coordinators (or PIC Workers) supporting people to do more of the things that they enjoy.

You may have seen the service in Flagship magazine in May or spot the team at the Your Health, Your NHS event in Guildhall Square on 10 June

The Age UK Portsmouth PIC workers meet with people to talk about their goals - what they would like to be doing with their time - and any difficulties for them to overcome.

PIC Worker Cindy Lillington explains:

"We help people to set their own goals and then achieve them! It could be discovering opportunities to mix more often with others who share their interests, overcoming a mobility issue with the help of a volunteer, restarting old hobbies, or trying something completely new. There are so many possibilities, I'm excited by the variety of ambitions that our clients have - everything we do is very much tailored to the individual."

The service is being funded by Age UK and Better Care, which joins up NHS and City Council social care provision. Age UK Portsmouth will be working closely with the voluntary sector and community groups to help people get the kind of support that suit their needs, and find new social opportunities. 

People over 50 who live with long term conditions and have been in hospital in the last year can be referred to the scheme by local GPs. The service hopes to support 1,000 people in the first year. 

If you would like to speak to someone about the scheme you can email Age UK Portsmouth at or telephone 023 9286 2121.

Latest news

  • Service expansion helps Portsmouth residents be safe and independent at home
  • Patients given spending power to boost their wellbeing
  • Portsmouth Better Care launches to join up health and social care
  • First chance for city residents to find out more about Better Care
  • Partnership project set to transform care in Portsmouth
  • Reablement brochure 2015/16 - view online (or download below)


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