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Improve lives, extend lives and save lives - the local response to NHS Long Term Plan

The health and care of local residents will improve significantly through new ways of working across teams, services and organisations.

That is the view of the local NHS as they shared plans with the public to help improve lives, extend lives and save lives of people living across Brighton and Hove.

The health and care needs of people are changing as they live longer and increasingly face more complex and long-term conditions that need ongoing care. So the NHS has responded to this changing need by working with partners to develop plans that will help ensure people get the care they need now and for years to come.

Health and care organisations have been working closer together over the last few years to improve patient care and how services work. They are now looking to build on this good work to develop an “Integrated Care System” (ICS), as part of the local response to the ambitions and expectations set out in NHS Long Term plan. The creation of an ICS will encourage greater collaborative working, across organisational and geographical boundaries, developing ways of working that will allow and encourage partnership working that gives populations greater joined-up care.

The plans will help local people stay healthy, receive more support and treatment at home rather than having to go into hospital if it’s not necessary, and be able see their GP more quickly.

Dr Laura Hill, local GP and joint Chair of the Clinical and Professional Cabinet for Sussex, said: “Health and care organisations are working together to make sure that our populations get the right care, at the right place at the right time for them. Those using health and care services will notice greater focus on joined-up care, ill health prevention, proactive care and support for people living with long-term conditions. This will include better access to services, better access to the right clinician and professional to suit their needs, and more support either in their own homes or in more appropriate places for what they need.

“If people do need to be admitted to hospital, they will be supported to get home quickly with the support they need. Patients will have greater support to manage their own health when they do become ill and communities will see new initiatives introduced to support them in living healthier lives.”

The plans have been developed across health and care partners and with the involvement and input of partners, clinicians, specialists, health and care professionals, staff, patients, their families and the public. They were available for public comment 8 November.

Easy read LTP response is available here: Download 3251_EASY_READ_LTP response.pdf

FAQs: Integrated Care Systems


Why are Integrated Care Systems being introduced?

The health and care needs local people are changing, and it is recognised that the current way of working is not as effective or efficient as it could be. People are sometimes having to go to a number of different appointments and see a number of different experts to get the care they need, some people are waiting longer than they should to get treatment and care, and some people find it hard to get access to the right care, at the right time, in the most appropriate place for them.


Additionally, in the past, health and care organisations have been incentivised to compete with one another, and there has been differences in care across geographical boundaries, both of which has not always been positive for the way our health and care ‘system’ works for our populations.


So it is recognised that more needs to be done to encourage greater collaborative working, across organisational and geographical boundaries. To help achieve this, health and care organisations across areas throughout country are developing ways of working that will allow and encourage collaborative working that gives their populations greater joined-up care. The NHS Long Term Plan, published in January 2019, has set the target for ICSs to be in place across the country by 2021 so they will soon be the mainstream way in which health and care organisations work.


What is going to change?

For people using health and care services, they should notice greater focus on joined-up care, ill health prevention, proactive care and support for people living with long-term conditions. This will include better access to services, better access to the right clinician and professional to suit their needs, and more support either in their own homes or in more appropriate places for what they need. For our health and care organisations, they will be working more collaboratively, by sharing goals, resources and expertise. They will be taking more collective responsibility for the services they plan and provide.


How will an ICS help local people and patients?

The core purpose of developing an ICS is to bring real benefits to the lives of our populations. These include:


  • Improved, equitable access to high quality, safe and joined-up care (e.g. through patient access routes such as NHS111-Clinical Assessment Service).
  • Greater access to health and care professionals with the most appropriate skills for people’s specific needs.
  • Health and care tailored in a more personalised way at home, or as close to home as possible.
  • People will be better supported to improve their own health and wellbeing.
  • Better availability of non-clinical solutions that will keep people healthier for longer.
  • Easier interactions with health and care services through technology.
  • Greater joined-up support for people with multiple health conditions.
  • Better support to people in care homes to ensure safe and high quality care


How will an ICS help health and care staff and professionals?

Developing an ICS will support professionals to be able to work efficiently and effectively for our populations. This includes:


  • Collaborative working with health and care colleagues that creates opportunities for learning, uptake of innovation and for providing more seamless care
  • Principles of inclusion, integrity and empowerment will be central to all activity.
  • Participation within a resourced workforce, which contains a diverse skill mix and is sustained through effective succession planning.
  • Standardised systems, processes and approaches across the local area that help with delivering more consistent care.
  • Opportunities to co-design pathways and delivery of local services at scale.
  • Safe and positive environments will allow all professionals the freedom to speak up and to be heard.


Is an Integrated Care System a new organisation?

No. It is important to be clear that no new organisation is about to be set up. The Integrated Care System in Sussex will not have statutory duties and will not be a decision-making body. The statutory responsibilities for health and care will remain with the current local statutory bodies. Locally for Brighton and Hove, these include the local authority, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Is an Integrated Care System a form of privatisation of the NHS?

No. There are no plans or any intentions to increase privatisation of services in relation to a creation of an Integrated Care System. There is no evidence from across the country that the creation of an ICS increases privatisation and there is nothing set out in the NHS Long Term Plan that suggests that working in this way will increase privatisation in the NHS.

Examples of how we are helping to improve lives, extend lives and save lives

Giving Gerald the right care, in the right place, at the right time

Gerald suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, which has a serious impact on his mobility, meaning he suffers from regular falls. After a recent fall, paramedics attended his house and advised that Gerald should be taken into hospital. Neither Gerald nor his wife wanted this to happen, so the Crisis Response service was called. This service involves an integrated team of nurse practitioners, healthcare assistants, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and night sitters. It aims to help people who are unwell and who may previously been admitted to hospital to stay at home. This allows them to be cared for in a familiar environment without the added stress and anxiety of being admitted to hospital.

The team put together a care plan that gave immediate support to Gerald and his wife and then did a further assessment so that the right support was arranged to enable him to remain safely in his own home afterwards. We want more people to receive the care they need closer to home.

Using resources effectively to help Martin get the care he needs

Martin, 23, called his doctor’s surgery to ask for an appointment because he had been suffering from anxiety. The receptionist he spoke to had been specially trained to signpost Martin to the most appropriate service for his need. She asked him if he had heard about an NHS service providing courses and other types of therapies that help with stress, anxiety and low mood. She explained that by completing an online form he could refer himself to the service, without the need for a GP appointment.

After submitted his form, Martin was contacted by a member of the service team for an initial appointment and then took part in a free course near to where he lives in Sussex, which has helped him cope with his anxiety. By using the service, Martin has got the care he needs and has saved the NHS money and the clinical time that would have been spent on his appointment had he seen a GP.

We want to invest more of our time, expertise and money to help people like Martin get the right care, the first time. To do this we need to change how we use the limited resources available and make decisions that will help us get more out of the money we spend.

Giving Joe equal access to the services he needs

Joe has been homeless for three years. Life on the streets has taken its toll on his physical and mental health but accessing health and care services can be difficult for vulnerable and disadvantaged people like him. Luckily for Joe, a weekly multi-agency hub was launched in his part of Sussex to improve access to services and support for rough sleepers and the street community. Different agencies are available to give advice and sign-post him to services and information on issues including housing, mental health and drug and alcohol treatment. He is also able to take a shower and wash his clothes while he is there.

Through visiting the hub, Joe has been able to register with a local GP practice and has made links with adult social care and a local housing officer to look at his options for the future. We want everyone to be able to access health and care services no matter what their background or circumstances.