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New areas to benefit from joined-up NHS and social care

Integrated care development programmes expand

Jo Carlowe

Friday, 25 May 2018

NHS chiefs have called on the NHS to “supercharge” the integrated care development programme, as four more areas gain more control over local services.

NHS England chief Simon Stevens and Ian Dalton, head of NHS Improvement, have called on the NHS to “supercharge” integration as Gloucestershire, West Yorkshire and Harrogate, Suffolk and North East Essex and North Cumbria join the ten areas already part of the integrated care development programme. The four new areas cover four and a half million extra people.

The four new systems received a vote of confidence yesterday at the first meeting of NHS England and NHS Improvement boards sitting “in common”.

NHS England chief Simon Stevens said: “As the NHS turns 70, we’re keeping all that works best about the local health service, while pressing ahead with the move to more integrated care. These fundamental reforms mean more than 12 million people across England will now begin to see the benefits of joined up care between GPs, home care and care homes, hospitals and mental health services.”

Ian Dalton, chief executive of NHS Improvement, said: “We have seen real progress in how NHS organisations have been collaborating with each other and with local government and local partners since integrated care systems were first introduced a year ago.

“Integrated care systems will be vital in tackling the factors that affect the long-term sustainability of patient services – many of which cross organisational boundaries. I am delighted we are rolling out these systems to four more areas of the country. They all demonstrate strong leadership teams, capable of acting collectively, and with an appetite for taking responsibility for their own performance for the benefit of the communities they serve.”

In an integrated care system NHS organisations and local government, together with residents, Healthwatch, care providers and the voluntary and community sector work beyond their own organisational boundaries to improve services for their communities, and join up services for people with multiple and long-term conditions.

NHS England says partnership working in Gloucestershire over the last year has encouraged an extra 63 schools and 11,000 pupils to walk or jog the "Daily Mile", led to 40,000 more GP surgery appointments, improvements in A&E performance, a reduction in cancelled operations and a reduction in the percentage of patients stuck unnecessarily in a hospital bed to 2%.

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