Everyone working together so that the people of Buckinghamshire have happy and healthier lives.
The integrated care system at a glance:
- A way of working that brings together the expertise of health and social care organisations, community groups and local charities to help people live well for longer.
- In Buckinghamshire, the health and social care partners are Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, FedBucks, Medicas, Buckinghamshire County Council and South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS).
- Puts more emphasis on promoting wellness and preventing ill-health and making sure our hospitals are for specialist care and treatment.
- More care will be delivered closer to where people live. People will receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place.
- Staff, residents, patients, community groups and local charities will all play their part in helping shape where and how care will be delivered.
Our health and care needs have changed since the current health and care system was set up. The local population is growing with more older people. This, alongside unhealthy lifestyles and an increase in patients with complex and long-term conditions, means more and more demand on local services.
That’s why the organisations who deliver physical, social and mental health care in Buckinghamshire have joined together to create an integrated care system. This is a way of working that brings together the different people who provide health and care services. It aims to help people stay well for longer by supporting them to lead healthier lives, manage their own health conditions and provide easier access to care when they need it, often closer to where they live.
Old divides between health and social care, between physical and mental health, and between GPs and hospitals mean that too many people have experienced care that is disjointed and that involves many appointments with different people in different places. Having organisations and teams who are more joined-up will change this.
What is an integrated care system?
An integrated care system is simply a way of working. We’ll integrate, or bring together, the expertise of health and care professionals from our partner organisations to look after people’s physical, social and mental health needs. These teams will help people live and stay well, especially those who have high levels of need or long-term conditions.
Our local partners are Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, FedBucks, Medicas, Buckinghamshire County Council and South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS). Combined, these organisations are responsible for commissioning and providing health and care services across our county.
Together, we want to deliver high quality and safe care at the right time and in the right place. We also want to make sure it offers value for money, now and in the future.
Why an integrated care system?
With the partners working together more closely than ever before we can collectively improve the health of the people of Buckinghamshire. In addition, by working with others such as local charities, community groups, patients and local residents in the planning and delivery of services we’ll be able to understand the local population better and help people live healthier and more independent lives for longer.
There will be benefits for staff too; improved collaboration and closer working relationships will make it easier and more efficient when working with colleagues from other organisations. There will also be more local control and freedom to make decisions, plus extra support to go further and faster in improving services.
We were selected by NHS England to become one of the first integrated care systems in 2017 because of the partners’ history of successful joint working. Since then we’ve continued to develop services which will help form the building blocks of our new, more coordinated, way of working.
Over the coming weeks and months you’ll hear more about the community care model. This is how we’ll deliver the integrated care system. Local communities have told us they want us to focus more on prevention and wellness and for our hospitals to be places which provide specialist care and treatment. The community care model will do this. It places more emphasis on promoting good health and helping people manage and plan their own care, thereby avoiding the need to go to hospital or a care home.
We will have teams of professionals, made up of the right people with the right expertise, based in communities so people can easily and locally access support for their physical, mental health and social care needs from one team and one place.
What those teams will look like, and the services they provide, will vary across Buckinghamshire, depending on the care needs of local people. There isn’t one solution for each area. Instead, these decisions will be made jointly by the local patients, communities and health and social care professionals.
Clearly this change isn’t going to happen overnight. There are already lots of projects going on which will help us deliver a truly joined-up care system. These transformative projects won’t stop and are vital to our success.
What does this mean for our staff and local people?
Patients, local people and communities will be at the centre of our work and our decision making. Everyone will have easier access to a local care team supporting their physical, social and mental health needs. We will work with people to plan their care, prevent ill health and to live happy and healthier lives.
Staff who work in the community will have better links to colleagues in other professions and be able to offer better joined up care for their patients. Some staff may find their roles, or where they work, change slightly but don’t worry – if anything is going to happen which concerns you, your job or your patients we’ll tell you.
We need staff to be part of our journey to creating a truly joined-up care system. Over the coming weeks and months you’ll hear more about how you can get involved in helping to shape the health and care services in your area.
If you have any questions, contact
Russell Carpenter, Head of Governance/Board Secretary
firstname.lastname@example.org, 01494 586771