A NEW partnership has been formed with the aim of helping to ensure people stay “happy and healthy” at home.

Several health and care organisations have joined forces for the initiative.

The so-called Bradford district and Craven strategic partnering agreement brings together the NHS, local authority and voluntary and community-sector bodies.

Although the organisations already work closely together, the new system will see them take decisions jointly to deliver the district’s health and wellbeing plan.

A spokesman said: “One of the key aims is to create sustainable, integrated and high-quality services against the challenge of increasing demand.

“Over the next few years, services will be developed so local people are supported to take action and stay healthy, well and independent throughout their whole life.

“Prevention and early intervention will be an integral part of the work of the partnership, with a greater focus on healthy lifestyles and self-care. Where people need access to care and support, it will be available through proactive joined-up health, social care and wellbeing services.”

Among those signed-up to the agreement are Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, Bradford Council and Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven clinical commissioning group.

The move is welcomed by Kersten England, the council’s chief executive.

She said: “This strategic partnership means that when people need to access care and support, it will be a joined-up health, care and wellbeing service designed around their needs, as close to home as possible.

“It will empower partners to create targeted services for their local communities and enable us to better plan and deliver sustainable services for whatever challenges lie ahead in the future.”

Brendan Brown – chairman of the Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven health and care partnership – also gives a thumbs-up to the venture.

“Our organisations have a long history of working together,” he said.

“This arrangement means we can work better together as a system, with collective responsibility, to secure improved health and care outcomes for our population.”

And Dr Andy Withers, chairman of Bradford health and care partnership, said the agreement represented a next step for the organisations to “explore the exciting opportunities a collaborative way of working offers as we plan and develop health, care and support services”. He added: “We will use our shared knowledge and resources to make sure that when people access services, those services are designed around people’s needs and delivered as close to home as possible.”