THE town's health and social care is to be given an overhaul because the current system isn't fit for purpose or sustainable.

Barnsley Council has approved plans to transform health and social care by bringing the town's four main service providers together under one umbrella.

That means the council, Barnsley Hospital NHS Trust, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SWYFT) and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will join up their services to provide more seamless care.

It's part of the Stronger Barnsley Together programme - a new way of delivering health and social care in the borough - and will be used to inform the work and practice of professionals across health and social care, including public health.

The council and CCG believe this united approach - focussing on prevention rather than cure - will mean fewer hospital admissions, fewer people placed in residential or nursing care and more people cared for at home for longer.

Subsequently, this will result in lower costs and greater savings for health and council budgets.

Council leader Sir Steve Houghton said the current system is inefficient, disjointed and needs to become more seamless.

"When people come into the health and social care system they have got to deal with four different providers of services for different things," he said.

"GPs do their bit, the hospital does its bit and SWYFT deals with community based services while the council deals with public health.

"So you have four different organisations providing four different elements of care needs and it's disjointed.

"What we need to do is join it all up and bring it all under one umbrella, but not one organisation."

The new system will aim to help residents support themselves and their families within their communities for as long as possible, rather than being drawn in to the formal system.