The challenge of delivering improvements in urgent and emergency care, strengthening access to high quality GP services, and improving outcomes for individuals with cancer and mental health conditions, while also trying to balance the budget, cannot be underestimated. As the NHS approaches its 70th birthday, service pressures are greater than ever with a growing, ageing population. So, it’s critical for us to adapt and evolve to meet these new challenges.
The launch of the Five Year Forward View Next Steps sets out a short-term challenging action plan which aims to “make the biggest national move towards integrated care of any major western country”. It promotes the need for providers and commissioners to work together with a strong focus on performance improvement, result delivery and accountability. The plan outlines how changes to organisational forms and structures will be used as a means to achieve these outcomes and Integrated Care Systems (ICS) will be the evolution of Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STP) (formerly, Sustainability and Transformation Plans).
Addressing the priorities
SCW is working together with its customers to deliver the key changes they need by focusing solutions on five priority areas:
- Achieving excellence in care
In order to deliver improved cancer care, boost mental health services and ease pressure on urgent care, a review of current services is needed to see how they can work better together and where redesign and implementing new models of care can drive improvement.
SCW is already working with customers delivering projects which are succeeding in redesigning patient pathways to achieve this in areas such as support to the South West Clinical Network and Senate on the Mental Health redesign programme; supporting the South Urgent and Emergency Care Network to improve the delivery of urgent and emergency care services; work on ophthalmology in East Berkshire; and developing the Portsmouth Urgent Care Hub.
- Developing new care systems and organisations
To ensure that the Next Steps deliver its promises, it needs to be seen as a plan not just for the NHS but also for social care colleagues to adopt. Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships and their evolution towards ACSs and ACOs will be the vehicles through which these plans are implemented.
SCW has supported its customers in preparing their STP plans and is now working with local systems as they develop how they bring together services provided by GPs, hospitals, the community and care professionals. In this context, SCW has been supporting work in the Frimley area to develop their new Accountable Care System and is working with a number of other STPs to further develop their plans.
- Transformation of primary and integrated care
The Next Steps identifies the need for better access to GP services and out of hospital delivery.
SCW has a strong primary care team with out of hospital expertise, who deliver both transformational programmes, to bring about improvements in care, and transactional services, to monitor and manage activity. Strategic support has included working with North Somerset CCG to develop and refine their primary care strategy and then turn their vision into a reality. As part of the General Practice Resilience Programme, the team conducted diagnostic reviews of practices across a region, worked with them to prepare their own Practice Forward View Plans and provided solutions and change facilitation, on behalf of NHS England and CCGs. We are also helping NHSE to establish a Programme Management Office for coordinating the delivery of improvement projects across primary care.
- Strategic commissioning
To deliver real and sustainable improvements in quality, local systems need to identify better ways to commission services. The aim is to break down organisational barriers and enable collaborative working across the health and care system to ensure that meeting the needs of patients is always the priority.
SCW has in-house expertise in the development of strategic commissioning and CCG mergers and organisational development, such as supporting the two CCGs in Buckinghamshire as they merged into a single organisation. We also supported the commissioners in North Somerset and Oxford to identify their future commissioning intentions for local hospital services.
- Ensuring sustainability within care systems
A key tenet of the Next Steps is driving efficiency and tackling waste to make the money invested in the NHS go further and deliver services that staff and patients want.
SCW has significant experience in supporting customers to achieve a grip on their performance and highlighting opportunities for more efficient working processes (e.g. working with Somerset CCG to help them establish their RightCare programme; joint work with North East CSU on demand management across a range of CCGs; and leading the delivery of a national programme of QIPP support covering over 100 CCGs). Sustainable General Practice is a key enabler of system change, and SCW has supported the development of new organisational forms across practices, strengthening the provision of community services.
Understanding how these challenges will impact on all of the services SCW provides and responding in the most appropriate manner will be an important factor in how we deliver for our customers. In particular, our ability to integrate individual SCW services into solutions that meet customer needs will be essential.
If you would like to know more or get involved in the development of these solutions, please contact Richard Smale, Director of Transformation.