Shake-up of county’s health system
Bucks to be at forefront of ‘action to provide better care’
Simon Stevens announced the NHS is embarking on “the biggest national move to integrating care of any major western country”.
In order to create a less “fragmented system”, Mr Stevens announced nine areas in England which will be at the forefront of nationwide action to provide joined up, better coordinated care – one being Buckinghamshire.
The head of the NHS said this change, which will initially will be cover seven million people, with break down the barriers between GPs and hospitals, physical and mental health care and social care and the NHS.
The Accountable Care Systems (ACSs) will coordinate local NHS services, often in partnership with social care services and the voluntary sector.
The first group of ACSs have agreed to deliver fast track improvements , including taking the strain off A&E, investing in general practice making it easier to get a GP appointment, and improving access to high-quality cancer and mental health services.
These areas will lead the way in taking more control over funding to support transformation programmes – with the combined potential to control around £450mil- lion of funding over the next four years – matched by accountability for improving the health and wellbeing of their populus. This means the NHS in Buckinghamshire will be provided more freedom to make decisions over how its health system operates.
The seven other areas included are Frimley Heath, South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw, Nottinghamshire, Blackpool & Fylde Coast, Dorset, Luton (with Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire), and Berkshire West.
The announcement came as NHS England medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh told the conference: “We need to heal fractures between services and tear down those administrative, financial, philosophical and practical barriers to the kinds of services our patients want us to deliver. To get there, we must replace the fear of change with convincing arguments for the future – or I for one worry that risk weakening our greatest social asset through inac- tion or fatigue.”
Leaders across the health and social care system in Buckinghamshire have welcomed the announcement from NHS England.
Martin Tett, chairman of the Buckinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Board and leader of Buckinghamshire County Council, said: “We are de- lighted that Buckinghamshire has been designated as one of the first Accountable Care Systems in the country.
“This is testament to the work partners are doing together to deliver better, safer and more joined up health and care for the local communities we serve.
“We’re making great progress in joining up GP, community, mental health, hospital and social care services and in helping our communities live healthier and more independent lives.
“Leading the way as one of the first Accountable Care Systems will give us greater control, freedom and added pace to our shared work, for example by providing more care closer to home to reduce length of stay in hospital, GPs and mental health teams working alongside hospital teams in A&E, and simplifying/streamlining care for people with long term conditions such as diabetes.”