Winter planning in north east London

Winter is a time of increased pressure for people working across health and care as cold weather affects people with existing health conditions and illnesses like flu and Covid spread.

As an integrated care system, we work throughout the year to build our resilience and plan for periods of increased demand.

The challenges are complex and can only be addressed by working together across the NHS and with local authorities and the voluntary and community sector. We have been bringing key system stakeholders and leaders together to discuss what we already have in place, how we can learn from each other and where we need to strengthen our collaborative efforts.

NHS North East London is working with Place Partnerships and Collaboratives to coordinate this winter and beyond through a new clinically led and proactive system coordination centre (SCC) that involves everyone, including hospitals, GPs, LAS, community care and more.

Our approach is focused on keeping people well; helping people get the right treatments in the right place earlier; be seen more quickly in an emergency; and get home again promptly where they have had to be admitted.

We are doing this in a number of ways, including things like: helping people understand and then get to the right services for minor illnesses; vaccinating as many eligible people as possible; and improving take up of community-based interventions to ensure improved access to emergency provision for those in the greatest need.

We are working to reduce avoidable admissions to hospitals with things like more appointments in primary care and virtual wards for frailty and respiratory illnesses; and we are improving hospital patient flow, particularly around mental health admissions, ambulance handovers and better discharge pathways back into the community.

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