Balancing local need with ‘do once’ at scale
There is a fine balance to be achieved between meeting the particular needs of local populations and residents, and looking at how we can share resources – including finances, workforce and data – to do things at scale, in order to:
- provide the highest quality services to improve health outcomes
- help people live the best possible life
- ensure people, wherever they live, have access to the right services, at the right time and in the right place.
Setting shared priorities
A series of events and workshops – involving staff, partners and patient representatives from across the north east and north Cumbria and representing a number of organisations – have helped the senior management team for our aspiring integrated care system (ICS) agree the following overarching priorities:
- Improving population health and preventing ill health
- Optimising health services – specifically through ensuring high quality standards across all services and delivering safe and sustainable care in the most appropriate setting
- Digital transformation – making the best use of technology, data and IT to ensuring efficient and effective services
- Workforce transformation – identify how doctors, nurses and other health and care professionals can work across organisations and sites, particularly hospital and community services; support and train staff to work differently; retain our existing workforce and jointly address recruitment challenges.
- Mental health – improve access to services and standards of care.
- Learning disabilities – improve quality of care, waiting times and outcomes for patients.
Senior leaders from clinical commissioning groups, NHS hospital trusts and NHS England/Improvement are working to agree measurable objectives which the whole health system will work towards under the above themes. These objectives will need to be agreed and refined with local authorities and other partners to ensure a fully collaborative approach to delivery.