Jeremy Hunt says there is a lack of communication between different parts of the health system
The Health Secretary has called for a "culture of co-operation" across the health and social care systems, saying that too many people are "falling between the cracks".
Jeremy Hunt said that the divide between the NHS and local authorities sometimes "beggars belief".
In his second speech as Health Secretary, Mr Hunt also said that there is a lack of communication between different parts of the health system.
He said that GP practices are not talking to hospitals and hospitals are not communicating between each other.
As a result, patients with the "loudest voices and the sharpest elbows" often get the best treatment, he said.
Speaking at the National Children's and Adults' Services Conference in Eastbourne, East Sussex, he said: "We need a culture of co-operation across health and social care, with the individual needs of the people that we are responsible for at its heart.
"The old structures have not worked well enough. With GP practices not talking to hospitals, hospitals not talking to each other, and the divide between the NHS and local authorities sometimes beggaring belief.
"This lack of openness and communication, of trust, means that too many people simply fall between the cracks.
"All too often those with the loudest voices and the sharpest elbows, or at least those who have parents or children with those elbows or voices, are the ones who get the best treatment."
He added: "Good things happen when the NHS and councils come together. But all too often this happens despite the system, not because of it."