Praise for Suffolk and North East Essex in government report
The Health and Social Care Select Committee published a report on Integrated Care in June 2018 which investigated ‘the development of new integrated ways of planning and delivering local health and care services’. This was in the context of NHS and social care services looking after a population which is living longer and with increasingly complex health and care needs. The Committee explored the development of sustainability and transformation partnerships and integrated care systems taking evidence from an extensive range of published written evidence, oral evidence from witnesses and by visiting one of the sustainability and transformation partnerships, part of the first wave of integrated care systems. The Committee focused their attention on the desirability of Integrated Care Systems, Integrated Care Partnerships and Accountable Care Organisations, seeking to assess whether they will improve health and care services for patients. Their report makes an honest appraisal of several issues including the following areas:
- Concerns about the direction of travel
- Examples of integrated care in England
- The case for change
- Funding and workforce pressures
- The role of national bodies
- Governance and legislation requirements
Several recommendations have been made to address these issues.
In the context of their investigations and recommendations the Committee concluded that they supported the move towards integrated care based on collaboration rather than competition, as the organising principle of the health and social care system in England. This was based on evidence that:
- Integrating care does lead to clear benefits to patients’ experience of care, particularly those living with long-term conditions.
- Support for integration of care at local level is widespread across the health and care community.
- Local leaders spoke with energy and enthusiasm about the potential of more integrated, placed-based care not only to improve the delivery of health and care services, but to address wider social problems and contribute to the growth and prosperity of local areas.
The Committee also emphasised that transformation is key to sustainability and recommended that the Government, together with the national bodies need to develop a national transformation strategy over the next year to accelerate the progress towards integrated care, supported by “a dedicated transformation fund, and a clear narrative which describes the benefits of integrated care from the patient’s perspective.”
The Committee emphasised that “Patient care must remain the focus” and that “the most important test of all … is whether this translates into better care for patients.”
Meanwhile, the national director of Healthwatch England, Imelda Redmond, has praised Suffolk and North East Essex’s recent deliberative events with the public in the Health and Social Care Select Committee report. Ms Redmond described Suffolk and North East Essex STP as an example of good practice: “I saw some very nice work done by Suffolk and North East Essex STP. They did all their deliberative events with the public and they could interpret what people were saying. They could understand the difference in life expectancy between Southwold and Jaywick, which are both in their patch – I cannot remember how many years it is—so they could quickly get to, “The public think that is not fair.” Then they can relay back to people in very tangible ways, “We will improve the life expectancy,” “We will reduce that gap,” or, “We will have a zero tolerance on suicides in our patch.” These are tangible things that people get, which is quite a different language to, “We will improve the pathway for people who need tertiary care on blah.”
To access the Health and Social Care Select Committee report please click on the link below: