The “integrated care system” (ICS) has expanded to 3 new areas which will serve 21 million people and give them improved health and care. Three million people will be serviced in the North Cumbria and North East alone making them the country’s largest ICS.
Health and care organisations in the third new area comprising of Oxfordshire, Berkshire West and Buckinghamshire, will work together to join services. South East London will become the first ICS in the capital.
Each of these areas share a common vision to better health and care, backed up by hefty financial and operational plans. Collective accountability and leadership will also be proposed.
The 12 earliest integrated care systems which were announced in 2018, precede these areas, as well as two delegated health systems in Surrey and Greater Manchester.
Response times and performance are being improved by ICSs, and are also giving people care closer to where they work and live. The ICSs are also helping people stay healthy and independent for prolonged periods of time, and are also improving performance and response times in areas like A&E and cancer.
NHS hospitals, councils, GP’s and care homes are all organisations that have made many changes to the health and care systems possible.
Many of these changes include patients in Gloucestershire receiving 100 000 more GP appointments. Paramedics and physiotherapists will be making extra home visits, and advice about medication will be made available from clinical pharmacists who are based in GP’s surgeries.
Another improvement will be that Dorset’s 800 000 residents will have a single care record. This will allow the health and care professionals to access the same information as it is being updated on the system. With the information being merged in this way, patient’s medical history and records will be visible to all medical professionals they consult. This will drastically improve the care they receive, and also have their needs met and understood more efficiently and more timeously.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council said: “The move to integrated care across the country gives us the opportunity to really make a difference for our residents and communities. Locally, I’m convinced that working together in partnership with the NHS we will deliver huge benefits to the health and care system and will improve the health and wellbeing of Oxfordshire’s residents.”
GP’s, mental health, pharmacists and others will come together and financially invest and contribute to do more in community settings. This will ensure that the systems will be built on primary and community care which will be the foundation of primary care networks which will bring these various teams together.
These professionals in the healthcare industry will lead the way and develop a shared and in-depth understanding of people’s health needs. They will use population health management technology to identify those at strong risk of different medical conditions and support them as early as possible.