Co-operation between AHAs and Social Services Departments is by now commonplace, but a partnership of these agencies with a private hospital to provide care for mentally handicapped children on a permanent basis is less usual than the Joint Financing approach, which usually leaves the health service no longer involved after a period of time. This does not always affect the responsibility and involvement which both agencies share on a permanent basis for some services. Our approach in Hillingdon in establishing and managing a twelve-bed unit at Holy Child House, St Vincent’s Hospital, Northwood, is to share the running costs equally between the AHA and the Social Services Department, whilst the unit is managed on a day to day basis on behalf of both agencies by St Vincent’s Hospital, which is a private hospital with which the AHA has a contractual arrangement.
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