Nov 05 2013

North West London selected as national pioneer for joined-up care

nhs_hospitalNorth 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 Harrow 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 Harrow means local people:

  • Will benefit from much closer working between all parts of the health and social care system
  • Will have more say over their care and when, where and how they receive it
  • Will have a greater variety of more convenient ways of accessing advice and care from different care providers
  • Will have a clear plan, developed with them, to get the best treatment delivered how and when they want it
  • Will find it easier to navigate their way through the care system

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, Harrow 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.

Cllr Simon Williams, Harrow Council’s portfolio holder for health and wellbeing, said: “Putting people not organisations at the heart of healthcare is essential and there are clear benefits for residents when local authority social services and NHS health care work together.

“Councils can provide expert local knowledge of problems on their patch which may relate to health problems- for example poor diet – and provide encouragement for healthier lifestyles, for example through our encouragement of greater physical activity. At the same time public health officers can bring their specific expertise with campaigns to target poor lifestyle choices and specific conditions. Being awarded Pioneer status means we can provide the best for Harrow residents.”

Dr Amol Kelshiker, Chair of Harrow Clinical Commissioning Group and a local GP said: “This is good news for patients in Harrow, as they will benefit from more integrated health and social care to meet their needs and ensure they are supported to lead healthier and independent lives in their homes wherever possible. I’m looking forward to working more closely with colleagues in the local authority to ensure we work better together to meet the needs of those people who require our services.“

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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1 comment

  1. sonoo malkani

    Fantastic news for the North West London area and for Harrow as well.Well done!

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