Published on: 4 October 2019
NHS leaders across the North East and North Cumbria are encouraging people to get involved in a series of engagement roadshows set to take place over the autumn.
Working together as an ‘Integrated Care System’, all NHS organisations in the North East and North Cumbria along with Local Authorities and other voluntary and third sector organisations, have committed to work together on ambitious plans to improve the health of over 3 million people who live the region and to improve the quality of their health and care services.
In line with the NHS Long Term Plan published in January this year, healthcare leaders in the region have committed to work together on six shared priorities to help build a health and care system which is fit for the future by:
Improving population health and preventing ill health by increasing public awareness on living healthy and well, better managing the biggest causes of premature death and continuing to reduce tobacco and alcohol consumption.
Improving the quality and sustainability of local health services by working with frontline clinical teams, across organisational boundaries, to develop services which give equal access to safe, effective, high quality care and the best possible clinical outcomes.
Improving how we use technology to deliver more efficient, effective services and transforming outpatient care by helping people make appointments, manage prescriptions and view health records online to reduce unnecessary visits to hospital or other services.
Improving the health, wellbeing and sustainability of the NHS workforce by ensuring staff have the skills and support they need, whilst developing collective recruitment, retention and training programmes for staff to work differently and more flexibly in the future.
Improving access and standards of mental health care by breaking down barriers between physical and mental health, supporting people with severe, enduring mental illness and better supporting children and young people.
Improve access and standards of care for people with learning disabilities so that more people can live in the community, with the right support close to home and receive the best possible outcomes.
From Monday 7 October, staff, patients and members of the public can join a series of NHS ‘Join of Journey’ roadshows* to find out more about the region’s Integrated Care System and how NHS organisations are working together.
People will be able to share what makes them most proud of the NHS, where they would like to see improvements and what concerns them the most about the future. For those who cannot attend a roadshow, a short online survey will also be available for people to feedback views: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FutureNHS
Alan Foster MBE, who has worked as a senior leader in the region’s NHS for over 20 years has led the development of the region’s Integrated Care System. He said:
“We have a strong and proud history of working together in our region and are already at the forefront of innovation and transforming care with many examples of major improvements in patient care over the last decade. But we know there is still much more to do and we cannot stop there.
“Despite having some of the best performing services in the NHS and abundance of great care delivered by highly committed staff, there are still areas where we know quality improvements are needed. We also know that our overall public health is still amongst the worst in England and we are not making fast enough progress on improving the overall health of people living in our area.
“Over the last 6 to 12 months we have been working closely with local Health and Wellbeing Boards and Overview and Scrutiny Committees, alongside regularly meeting with the Regional Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee to discuss the development of an ICS for the region and develop a shared ambition to have the best health and wellbeing outcomes in England.
“We now need to make this happen by working with local communities, our partner organisations and our amazing NHS staff and would encourage everyone to come along to our engagement roadshows to find out more about how we are working together.”
Life expectancy for people in the North East and North Cumbria remains amongst the poorest in England and the region has some of the starkest health inequalities with high levels of preventable disease and early death rates. All of this drives much of the pressure on our local health and care system with record numbers of people accessing services year-on-year.
As part of the NHS ‘Join our Journey’ roadshows, people will also be urged to play their part in helping the NHS by:
- Taking more responsibility for their own health
- Having their flu jab if they need one
- Quitting smoking
- Becoming more active
- Keeping NHS appointments or cancelling them
- Choosing the right NHS service and keeping emergency services free.
Engagement with staff, patients, service users and local people will remain at the heart of how the NHS in the region continues to make improvements to services which will continue to be driven by locally. To see a full list of all NHS ‘Join our Journey’ roadshows visit: https://nhsjoinourjourney.org.uk/ or follow @NENC_ICS on Twitter or www.facebook.com/JoinOurJourneyNHS.