Whether you are a patient, member of the public or a member of staff working in health and social care in Northumberland, we appreciate you may have questions about how to get involved in this work and what these new models of integrated care may look like. We have drafted some of our most frequent FAQs on this page but if you have a question please use the button below.
Integrated care means combining different parts of the health and social care system so that they work seamlessly together to provide a good experience for patients. We know this doesn’t always happen, mainly due to barriers such as different IT systems and organisational processes which result in poor communication and a lack of up-to-date information available for frontline teams delivering care.
You may have heard the terms integrated ‘primary and acute care system’ or ‘PACS’ being used to describe what we are doing to create new models of care in Northumberland. In simple terms this means that we want to join up all the different parts of health and care services across Northumberland so that they are co-ordinated around individual patient need in future, and so that they work seamlessly together. To make this vision a success, we will need to make sure staff can work together in a unified way and with access to an integrated patient record which shares key information.
Patients, the public and our staff consistently tell us where we can do better and even though we have excellent service across Northumberland, we know we can do better. We want to build on successful work over many years and break down the organisational barriers which have historically prevented true integration of services. We know this will bring huge benefits for patients and also result in a more efficient and well run health and care system.
This work will bring many benefits for patients, including:
The collective ambition is to create a single ‘accountable care organisation’ for the whole of Northumberland. This would bring together health and social care partners and, for the first time, combine general practice and primary care with hospital, community, adult social care, as well as mental health services, without the organisational boundaries which have historically prevented real transformation in care.
The proposed development of an accountable care organisation for Northumberland will be one of the first of its kind in the NHS and would take joint accountability for the whole health and care needs of the population.
We are seeking to move at pace in terms of developing an accountable care organisation but we are aware that changes to the current legislative framework will be required in order to fully enable our vision for integrated care in Northumberland. We are working closely with NHS England and others to move this work forward as quickly as possible.
However, this does not stop our work to develop new models of integrated care in Northumberland and much work is already underway to involve and engage all stakeholders as we look to improve how well our services are joined-up.
We anticipate many benefits for patient care, for example:
Integrating care will make it easier for teams across different organisations to work more effectively together in a joined up way and with the same shared goals for delivering high quality patient care. Our vision is that care we will be delivered by an aligned, integrated workforce, operating as one team, in one system with joined-up systems and processes.
Staff across all organisations will gain a greater and shared understanding of the challenges faced by colleagues in different parts of the ‘system’, providing an opportunity to innovate, learn new skills and develop ideas together on how to continually improve patient care.
We are encouraging as many people as possible to give their views by completing our online survey throughout February. This will help inform how we build better ways of working between teams so that we can join up care. You can complete the survey by clicking here and share this link with others you know who live in Northumberland.
Throughout February we are encouraging everyone who lives or works in Northumberland to complete our online survey. This includes patients, staff and the public.
Please click here to tell us about your experiences of care and how we can improve our health and care system. Please share this link far and wide amongst your networks to make sure we capture as many views as possible.
There will also be many more opportunities to join us at engagement events across Northumberland over the coming months and these will be widely publicsed. To keep up-to-date with news and events click here to sign up to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
The views and input of our 10,000 strong workforce are integral to the success of our ambitions for Northumberland and we will be closely involving staff across all organisations to seek their input at to how we can make services more streamlined and undertand the current barriers which we need to fix.
We are already holding some initial in-depth focus group discussions with staff from a variety of roles across our health and care system to understand fully what we need to improve.
We would also like all health and care staff who live in Northumberland to complete our online survey (click here).
Any staff who would like more detailed information about how they can become more involved should contact us using the this form.