North West London has been selected as one of only 14 areas nationally to pioneer ambitious new plans to improve the health and social care services provided to local people.
The announcement means that Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham and Westminster will now receive specially tailored support from the Department of Health to enable more joined-up, user-centred care, after a bidding process which attracted around 100 entrants across the country.
The major boost for care services in Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham and Westminster means local people:
The ‘Pioneer’ initiative is part of a much larger, wide-scale plan across NW London which involves councils, GPs, local hospitals, community care services and mental health services, working together to turn best practice, innovative care into normal practice, day-to-day care.
The organisations have come together as partners to tackle organisational barriers, avoid duplication, and provide a more seamless care service for local people, many of whom have long term conditions, and are part of a population which is also getting increasingly older.
Each of the eight localities will retain their own approach to delivering services specific to the needs of their local population, but the initiative will ensure that where there are opportunities for closer, joint working this will happen, across borough and other boundaries, where this is in the best interests of the service user.
As a Pioneer Site, Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham and Westminster will now have access to specialists in innovation and change from ‘NHS IQ’ (NHS Improving Quality) which will accelerate the work already under way with partners across the area.
The integrated care provided will bring together multi professional teams who then work across barriers to prevent organisational differences from fragmenting the services they deliver, as has happened in some places in the past.
North West London will also now become a national champion of the new ways of delivering joined up care, sharing its work with others beyond their geography to share the benefits of integration experience.
Integrated care ensures services are delivered more effectively and more efficiently, and thanks to a number of pilot schemes, has improved care as well as saving money.
The best care systems are already integrating care more effectively, around the UK and globally. The concept is based on customer-facing organisations, and applies similar principles to healthcare systems, creating better choice, better delivery, and better care.
Councillor Mary Weale, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “We need better coordination between the NHS and local authorities and we want more choice and independence for our residents. That’s what this pioneer integration scheme is all about and why we are pleased the Royal Borough will be amongst the first to benefit.”
Cllr Rachael Robathan, Westminster City Council's Cabinet Member for Adults said: "Integrated care is focused on prevention and providing the right support for people in their own homes which is much more effective for the individual and their family and much better for the taxpayer than in-hospital care. It is also absolutely key that we work in a wholly integrated way with our NHS partners.
"This is about changing the way primary health and social care services are delivered, with acute or residential care becoming the last resort not the first destination and so we are delighted to have secured pioneer status with our partners across London."
Cllr Marcus Ginn, Cabinet Member for Community Care at Hammersmith and Fulham Council said: "This is a major step towards improving community healthcare across our borough, ensuring that local NHS services are delivered around the needs of individual users."
Dr Ruth O’Hare, GP and CCG Chair, NHS Central London, said: “All CCGs in North West London want to keep people well and out of hospital unless they need the expert help that only a hospital can provide. The only way to do this is to make sure that health and social care operates as one system with no organisational or professional boundaries getting in the way of delivering joined up care. We already well on the road to integrating health and social care and Pioneer status and the help it will bring will give us a further boost.”
Professor Lis Paice, Chair, NW London Integrated Care Programme, said: “We are delighted that North West London has been selected as one of the 14 areas nationally to become a pioneer in integration. We already have some excellent examples from across North West London showing how our two million residents are getting better care thanks to our plans. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to be able to do even more.
“Integrated care is about working towards a better system that supports the values we and all our partner organisations share. It is about taking the best parts of what the system already provides, joining them together, and focusing them more closely on the people who need these services.
“As a pioneer site, we will be able to accelerate this process further and working together, we will ensure that every resident in North West London is living longer and living well.”
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The North West London Integrated Care Programme comprises eight Clinical Commissioning Groups, seven London Borough councils, all local NHS providers, Bucks New University, Imperial College Health Partners, NW London Commissioning Support Unit and NIHR CLAHRC for Northwest London.
CASE STUDY: Integration in action in Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham and Westminster
Mr Andrews* has dementia with some challenging behaviour, he lives at home and is at risk of self neglect when he refuses to engage with support services. A community matron now supports him to maintain his overall physical health, while social care provide their package of care. He attends local day care where staff monitor his day to day health and liaise with Rapid Response Nurses should they notice any deterioration, providing a quick alternative to admission to hospital. The integrated team around Mr Andrews has enabled him to retain a safe level of independence in an environment that he is comfortable in.
Brenda* recently had a fall due to her Parkinsons’ diagnosis and required hospital admission but is now back at home. Social Services Occupational Therapy have worked with the Community Rehabilitation Team to focus on increasing Brenda’s independence and decreasing the risk of further falls enabling her to participate more fully in everyday life. As well as providing equipment to modify her environment they have also implemented a rehabilitation programme meaning Brenda is now able to get up during the night independently and has more control over her environment and autonomy. No further falls have been sustained meaning no further hospital admissions have been needed.
*Names have been changed