Shake-up of county’s health sys­tem

Bucks to be at fore­front of ‘ac­tion to pro­vide bet­ter care’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

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.”

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