Plans to unite health and social care in the North East are being tested in a £4m, two-year trial of the Integrated Care Pilots scheme.
Four organisations – Durham Dales Integrated Care Organisation, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Church View Medical Practice in Sunderland and Northumbria Health Care NHS Foundation Trust – are taking part.
Care in rural communities, provision of preventative services for people aged over 60 and the care of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are among areas being looked at.
Said health minister Ben Bradshaw (pictured): "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 conditions effectively."
Care services minister Phil Hope said: "The pilot at Church View Medical Practice will benefit older people, and I want to see what lessons can be learnt from them in improving care for older people around the country."