West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership has been named as one of four new areas in England that will be given additional freedom and flexibility to manage the delivery of local services. The Partnership will join the Integrated Care System programme, putting the area at the forefront of nationwide action to provide better co-ordinated and more joined up care for 2.6 million people.
The Partnership breaks down the barriers between GPs and hospitals, physical and mental health, social care and the NHS.
This national recognition for the Partnership is a positive step forward. It will bring control and influence over spending and transformation closer to local people and local places.
Working alongside community organisations and communities, the Partnership brings together health and social care organisations, including the voluntary sector and other care providers across the area to give people the best start in life with support to stay healthy and live longer. An important part of the work is tackling health inequalities whilst improving the lives of the poorest, the fastest.
The importance of joining up services for people at a local level in Bradford District and Craven; Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield is at the heart of local and WY&H plans. All decisions on services are made as locally and as close to people as possible.
The move to becoming an Integrated Care System is predicated on this continuing to be the case.
Rob Webster, WY&H Partnership CEO Lead and CEO for South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust, said: “We’re delighted that our commitment to improve the health and care of those we serve has been nationally recognised. Our approach to health and care is based on much closer working between our organisations. It is an antidote to traditional, top down approaches based on mergers or the creation of new organisations. I am personally pleased that our model of shared leadership and focus on prevention, wellbeing, communities, primary care, mental health, acute services and world class innovation is being supported. Our ultimate goal is to put people, not organisations, at the heart of everything we do locally and across WY&H so that we meet the diverse needs of all our communities.”
The Partnership only works at a WY&H level – when it makes sense to do so and with the agreement of local partners. There are nine WY&H priorities including cancer, stroke, maternity, mental health and urgent and emergency care. This means at all levels the Partnership is:
- Working to improve people’s health with and for them
- Working to improve people’s experience of health and care
- Making every penny in the pound count to offer best value to the taxpayer.
Julian Hartley, CEO for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and CEO Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Association of Acute Trusts (WYAAT) said: “It’s great news that West Yorkshire and Harrogate Partnership is seen as a leading health and care system and will be an integrated care system in shadow form. Across all six acute hospital trusts, through WYAAT, we have worked hard to collaborate in the interests of our patients, staff and wider communities. Our collective co-operation and leadership to support the goals of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership are clearly paying off and this news gives us the boost to redouble our efforts to offer the very best for our patients across the region.”
Rory Deighton, Director for Healthwatch Kirklees, said: “Our partnership believes that it is impossible to improve the health of communities in West Yorkshire and Harrogate, unless we genuinely listen, learn, and engage with what people think. Engagement for us is not booking a village hall, and telling people what we are doing – it’s much more than that. It’s about building a different relationship between people, councils and the NHS. We can’t improve the health of communities in West Yorkshire and Harrogate unless we all work and think differently. Engagement for us is a changed relationship where people are partners in healthy communities, not just consumers of healthcare services.”
Dr Andy Withers, Chair of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Clinical Forum and Clinical Lead for Bradford District Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are working towards approximately 50 local neighbourhoods serving populations of around 30-50,000 where GP practices, voluntary and community services, community health and social care services provide integrated health and care for local people. For example in Bradford there are ten primary care home communities and in Airedale Wharfedale and Craven there are three. The focus for these local partnerships is increasingly moving away from simply treating ill health to preventing it, promoting self-care and empowering local communities. Integrating all services as much as possible around the patient has to be the way forward.”
Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: “With Local Government in the partnership we can work with the NHS to prevent a whole range of illnesses which is vital for improving wellbeing across all age groups and in particular those in our poorest communities who have suffered some of the worst health inequalities. This is absolutely central to our ambition to secure inclusive growth so that everyone is able to participate and fully share in the benefits of a growing economy.”
Fatima Khan-Shah, WY&H Lead for Unpaid Carers Programme, said: “Carers have told us that we must get better at supporting the 260,000 carers across our area. We need to ensure services talk to each other and when developing them in the future ensure that they listen to the voice of the carer and community organisations that support them. Joining up health and care services locally and across West Yorkshire and Harrogate so people get the right care and support is absolutely the right thing to do.”
A first wave of eight shadow Integrated Care Systems was announced by NHS England and NHS Improvement in June 2017. They were placed into a development programme, along with the two health devolution areas (Greater Manchester and Surrey Downs). This brings a total of 12 Integrated Care Systems out of 44 across the country.
You can also read “Our next steps to better health and care for everyone” here. This describes the progress made since the publication of the initial WY&H plan in November 2016, and sets out how the partnership will improve health and care for the 2.6 million people living across the area in 2018 and beyond.