Nationally, collaboration within and between local and national organisations and working towards an agreed number of shared priorities are widely agreed as being fundamental principles for any system that wants to achieve a healthier future for their population. These are two of the key principles of the Hewitt Review, an independent review of integrated care systems by the Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt, published in April 2023 – which found that “Everyone needs to change, and everyone needs to play their part.”
In our area, our four core principles reflecting best practice recommendations are:
1. Integration of health, care, and wellbeing services
We will prioritise opportunities for integrated planning, commissioning and delivery of health, care, and wellbeing services so that people’s experience of support and services is more joined up. We recognise that it is routine for health and care staff to work together across teams and between organisations. This strategy is about the big strategic changes where a more joined-up approach will bring local authority, NHS, and voluntary sector services much closer together to improve health and wellbeing at every opportunity. See sections 4 and 5 of the PDF for further detail.
2. Priority towards prevention and early intervention
We will prioritise prevention and early intervention, reflecting the evidence that it is better to identify and deal with needs earlier rather than to respond when difficulties have become complex, which will then require intensive action by services. Preventative services are particularly effective in improving the longer-term life chances of children, young people, and their families. We will look at how we can shift investment across our system so that we can support the priorities we have set ourselves for early intervention and prevention, at the same time still striving to improve services for those who need our help now. As a key partner of the Integrated Care Strategy we are focussed on prevention and early intervention. See section 5 of the PDF for further details.
3. Targeted work to reduce health inequalities
We will prioritise targeted work to reduce health inequalities across our population and across all services and settings, reducing avoidable and unfair differences in health between different groups in society. We will use local intelligence including population health management systems to enable health and care staff to identify people most at risk of ill health. We will identify areas where health inequalities are greatest to ensure that resources are targeted at people with the greatest needs. See section 5 of the PDF for further details.
4. Involving our residents and our workforce
We will involve our residents, their carers, our communities, and our staff - engaging with them at the earliest stages of service design, development, and evaluation. We recognise that those with ‘lived experience’ of a particular issue or condition, their families and carers, and the staff that support them are often best placed to advise on what support and services will make a positive difference to their lives. We will work with our residents to improve our services, listen to what they tell us, and respond to their needs. See Section 2.1 of the PDF for further detail.