29 Jan 2013
My father was admitted to hospital a couple of weeks ago to find out whether he was developing the early stages of dementia. My parents had retired to the coast a few years ago some way from where the rest or our family lives so it’s been quite difficult being around to make sure my mother is supported.
Whilst my father’s care has been good it’s been difficult for my mum to navigate the system and make sense of how primary care, hospital care and social services work. So I know from personal experience the importance of getting it right first time not just for my family but for everyone’s families.
In our local services, staff are working really hard to develop joined up services but they tell me that we need to go further.
Properly joined up and integrated care can help service users recover sooner and cost less at a time when we need to make our funds go further.
Yes, the term integrated care sounds easy but I know that it takes a lot of effort and it requires people to work creatively and flexibly across organisational boundaries.
As I mentioned in a recent blog we have established a new Local Services Transformation Board to help us build more joined up and integrated services. The Transformation Board brings together senior clinicians, service users, carers, managers our CCG Commissioners and Local Authority leads as well as representatives of the third sector. The work of the Transformation Board will be supported by the Commissioning Support Unit of NHS London who are all very positive about this new programme.
The CCGs are enthusiastic about this approach and it is being supported by each of the three CCGs. Our Medical Director, Nick Broughton, will co-chair the Programme Board with one of the CCG Mental Health Clinical Leads, Dr Annabel Crowe, who is based in Hounslow.
The Transformation Board met for the first time last week and will build on the work Local Services has already set in train through the redesign programme. The Board represents a new partnership approach to changing the way we provide services across the three boroughs.
The Transformation Board provides the forum for people to come together to make key decisions in designing pathways that are simple to understand, effective and designed with the patient at their centre. One of the Programme Board’s first pieces of work is likely to be looking at how we can better provide mental health care in primary care so that patients only need to receive care from specialist services when it is absolutely necessary.
As with all our decision making groups the minutes of the Transformation Board will be available for you and anyone else to see via our website. Please do take the time to have a look and keep yourself informed on what’s happening in our Local Services.
If you have ideas about how we can make our Local Services more joined up and integrated then please let me know and I’ll make sure they are fed into the Transformation Board.