Over recent years we have changed how we work and plan services in north east London to bring health and social care services closer together for the good of our communities. Our NHS organisations, local councils and community organisations work together to provide the care our communities need in an efficient, effective and joined up way. Not only does this provide the best experience for our population, it also makes sure we’re making best use of vital resources.
These integrated ways of working will be formalised from 1 July 2022 when a set of new NHS organisations and local partnerships come into effect in line with the Government’s new Health and Care Act.
Integration in healthcare essentially means bringing care into one single process to meet the specific health and care needs of local people and populations, both to improve their health but reduce inequalities too. People’s health is impacted by a wide array of factors but we know deprivation has a negative impact on peoples’ health. Better integration of care, where say NHS work with local councils, can help tackle that.
It is pleasing to see therefore that HSJ has reported on some new research that shows North East London Health and Care Partnership (NELHCP) as an integrated care system (ICS) that bucks the national trend, to deliver successful integration schemes and better patient outcomes despite high levels of deprivation amongst our local population.
Research by Carnall Farrar and the Institute for Public Policy Research measured ICS performance across a range of metrics, which were designed to assess the quality of the integration of care including, accident and emergency attendance rate, performance on two-month waits for cancer treatment, delayed discharges, super stranded patients, and performance on four-week waits for children and young people’s mental healthcare.
Once adjusted for levels of deprivation, north east London was one of the best performing ICS areas in the country.
Zina Etheridge, Chief Executive Officer Designate of the ICB for north east London and NELHCP, said “We are pleased to see how this analysis shows our history of integrated working in north east London is contributing to improved outcomes for our communities.
“We know though that there is more to do to tackle health inequalities and welcome the opportunity for greater integration as we move into our formal ICB and ICS arrangements next month.”
The research was conducted by Carnall Farrar and the Institute of Public Policy Research, using data from NHS England and Public Health England. Speaking about the findings, Ben Richardson from Carnall Farrar said “Just because you have a level of deprivation that’s high, doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to improve”.