There is an increasing national drive for health and social care to work in partnership – across organisational boundaries and in mixed (multi-disciplinary) teams – to put individuals at the centre of decisions about their care and support.
We know this brings real benefits for patients – including promoting independence and improving quality of life – and is a key focus in the new NHS Long Term Plan.
As we move towards this more joined up way of working we have been thinking about which services we should plan across larger areas (for example across Surrey or beyond – areas like mental health and children’s services), and those that are better delivered at local level, through local partnerships called Integrated Care Partnerships.
The following four areas have been agreed by the partnership as priorities for planning and delivering on a Surrey-wide basis:
- Mental health
- Learning disabilities and autism
- Continuing healthcare
- Children’s services
This is about agreeing how we will spend our money to deliver these services across Surrey, with local engagement continuing to play a really important role.
Integrated Care Partnerships
Integrated Care Partnerships (sometimes called ICPs) are groups of local health and care organisations, also including borough councils and voluntary/community sector members, working roughly across existing Clinical Commissioning Group geographies (for example, Guildford & Waverley, North West Surrey and Surrey Downs). Each partnership is developing its own priorities, reflecting the different needs of each local population, and thinking about how they will work differently in the future.
Common themes are emerging, for example there is more emphasis on wellbeing and prevention and on breaking down the barriers between organisations.
Primary care networks
Another new way of working that will transform the way family doctors and other professionals offer care locally is through new Primary Care Networks.
These are groups of local GPs and other partners operating at a very local level to plan and buy care for local populations of generally between 30,000 and 50,000 people. Over time they are expected to buy and/or provide a wider range of services across their combined patient populations, and are important partners within our local Integrated Care Partnerships.
Committees and structures
Working as a system in this new way means changing the way we govern ourselves and give assurance that we are discharging our responsibilities effectively. Further information can be found in the summary of our new governance and assurance structure.