Work to join up health and care services is progressing in west, north and east Cumbria through the development of eight ICCs. The following briefing for staff and stakeholders provides an overview of the progress that has been made to date, new ICC web pages and a summary of the communications and engagement approach that will be taken.
Please share this within your organisation through your usual channels. We will be issuing a press release next week which explains ICCs to members of the public and would appreciate your help sharing this on your websites and social media channels.
What is an ICC?
An Integrated Care Community works together to improve the overall health and wellbeing of local people by:
- Joining up health and care services
- Providing more care out of hospital
- Supporting people to manage their own health
Health and social care professionals, GPs, the voluntary sector and the community will work as one team to achieve this. By understanding the challenges that each area faces, and using the knowledge and experience of service users, the community can work together with health and care organisations to improve their health and wellbeing.
Why Integrated Care Communities?
The ICCs are being developed in response to the changing needs of the population which the current system is struggling to cope with. A growing elderly population with increasingly complex health needs mean people often spend longer in hospital than they need to or are admitted to hospital when it could have been completely avoided in the first place.
Health and social care professionals, GPs, the voluntary sector and the community are working as one team in each ICC to improve the health and wellbeing of local people. They are focusing on helping people to manage long term health conditions, improve access to information about healthier lifestyles and providing more care out of hospital. They will focus on helping people to stay well and working with local communities, empowering them to take a more active role in their health and wellbeing.
ICC information now online
Information is now available online for each ICC on the North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) website. It explains the areas covered, the health challenges that area faces and the progress that has been made as well as links to community groups, ICC contact details and the group of GP practices each ICC covers. The pages will be regularly updated with progress from each ICC.
Visit the new ICC webpages: www.northcumbriaccg.nhs.uk/iccs
Progress to date
New ways of working are being developed in each ICC to achieve the above. These include community teams joining up with North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) to help keep people out of hospital and musculoskeletal practitioners working in GP practices to ensure people with problems such as back pain can be seen quickly, by the right person. Work is underway to identify frail and elderly patients and put steps in place to prevent falls before they happen and work is progressing with communities in Alston, Wigton and Maryport to develop alternative models of care to hospital beds.
Communications & Engagement
Engaging with local communities will play a key part in the success of ICCs. Services will be developed and improved through co-production which means drawing on the knowledge, ability and resources of service users, as well as providers. This recognises that communities and service users have valuable experiences and insight that can help shape future health and care services.
A communications and engagement plan has been developed to set out the overall approach for sharing information and working with local people and stakeholders. Each ICC will develop their own individual plan, working with the community to do so. All communications and engagement aim to be done using the following principles:
- Open to all: working with communities right from the start, including hard to reach groups.
- Flexible: working with individual communities at a time and place that suits them.
- Responsive: listening to and acting on feedback.
- Clear: being honest and open in our messages and using plain English.
Progress will be updated regularly on the new ICC webpages, through partner organisations, social media and the local media as well as events and meetings.
Some colleagues may have received an invitation to attend an ICC workshop; these are taking place at different locations over the coming weeks. The aim of the workshops is to continue the dialogue about integration and present an opportunity to start to build relationships and networks. We also want you to take the opportunity to shape and influence how the new services will work.
For colleagues who are based in and working closely with partners and communities in the south of the county; there is a similar approach being taken – information about the ICCs in the south can be found here.
Leaders are currently agreeing the process and format for sharing the vision and next steps. It has been agreed that there will be an event in October 2017 to bring together colleagues with a view to exploring opportunities for integration. More details about this and the emerging model will follow shortly.