One system, one team, one you

We want to hear your views of healthcare services in Northumberland

Health and social care organisations across Northumberland share a collective vision for continuing to improve the quality of services for people living across the county.

In 2015, NHS England announced Northumberland as one of only eight areas across the country chosen to take a national lead on transforming care for patients as part of the national vision for the future of the NHS.

Over the last 12 months some new models of care have been developed to transform local services and create an NHS which is fit for the future.

Patients and members of the public have until Friday 20 October to share their experiences and give their views by completing an online survey here.

The NHS in Northumberland would like to understand your experiences of healthcare services in the county, how easily you are able to access these services and your views on the changes that have happened.

Your feedback is very important to all health and social care partners in Northumberland and will help us understand how people use our services and to ensure that pathways of care are designed around people’s need.

Transforming access to primary care (in-hours)

Our ageing population and the increase in the number of people now living longer with long-term conditions and more complex problems, is placing significant pressure on the health and social care system.

Maintaining a strong primary care service is critical to future success and a key focus of the vanguard work has been to increase and refine in-hours access to GP services.

Northumberland sets ambition to improve local health and wellbeing

The county of Northumberland has been announced by NHS England as one of only 15 areas nationally set to accelerate work to involve local people in taking more control of their own health and wellbeing.

In January 2017, health and care partners across the county were chosen thanks to extensive work already underway as part of the Northumberland vanguard programme, which is focused on developing new models of care, transforming local services and creating an NHS which is fit for the future.

The 15 areas selected in England will form a new ‘empowering people and communities (EPC) network’, a key part of the NHS Five Year Forward View which aims to accelerate work towards:

  • engaging people in their own health and wellbeing
  • building public health through community engagement
  • supporting self-care and patient activation.

 

Health and care partners in Northumberland will now receive extra support and expertise from NHS England to further engage with local communities.  The aim of this work is to truly address some of the causes of ill health, encourage people to think about, and take accountability for, their own wellbeing, as well as supporting those with long-term conditions, to feel more in control of their own health.

Over the next year and through this new EPC network, health and care partners in Northumberland plan to:

  • develop a schools programme to start in September 2017 which will encourage personal health responsibility amongst young people and engage them in health and social care as a career choice
  • identify opportunities to support existing NHS volunteers across Northumberland who are interested in peer support roles or becoming health trainers
  • work with patients to re-design care pathways for those suffering from breathlessness or frailty – this will involve  reviewing care from diagnosis through to end of life and building care around patient need
  • deliver more community group clinics which offer peer support and education and further develop a true co-design strategy building on work of the vanguard co-design forum.

 

Mr David Evans, chief executive at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have a strong and very proud history of active public and patient involvement in Northumberland and recognise that large-scale positive change can only ever be truly achieved by working in partnership with our communities.

“By involving and engaging local people we have been able to deliver some of our major innovations to date, including the transformation of emergency care and more recent work to increase access to primary care.

“We’re hugely excited about this work and involving all corners of our population, from young people to those with long-term conditions, to enable everyone to play a part in taking control of their own health and wellbeing and shaping how we deliver care in the future.”

Dr Alistair Blair, clinical chair at NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “All health and care partners in Northumberland fully recognise and value the importance of working in partnership with patients and communities and have a strong track-record of engaging with residents.

“Over many years, this work has been embedded in our organisations, forming a key part of what we do and improving how we deliver care to benefit our patients.  We now look forward to building on these strong foundations for the future.”

Samantha Jones, director of the New Care Models Programme, said: “Building healthy communities and supporting self-care are central to work of the new care models programme. We are excited to be working more closely with Northumberland vanguard and watching them develop and build on their existing work that is putting people much more in control of their own health.

“As well as supporting them with their activities, the new care models programme will be helping them share their work more widely across the country to benefit more people and other health and care systems.”

NHS England’s empowering people and communities team has been working together with vanguards during the course of this three year new care models programme. They are supporting design, implementation and spread of new models of care across the country. This work has been underpinned by the NHS Five Year Forward View and six principles that define good person-centred, community-focused health and care.  This is also built on the evidence base of the initiative Realising the Value.

Public invited to find out more about ambitious plans for NHS in Northumberland

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Members of the public in Northumberland are being invited to attend a series of NHS engagement sessions, being held in January, which will help explain the ambitious vision for health and care services across the county.

The engagement sessions, which are being supported by Healthwatch Northumberland, will give the public the opportunity to find out more about the new integrated accountable care organisation (ACO) for Northumberland and how this fits with the draft sustainability and transformation plan (STP) for ‘Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, and North Durham’.  The events will be held as follows:

  • Tuesday 10 January – Hexham Community Centre (2-4pm)
  • Thursday 12 January – Blyth Community Enterprise Centre (10am-12pm)
  • Thursday 12 January – Northumberland CVA, Ashington (2-4pm)
  • Friday 13 January – Bellview Resource Centre, Belford (10am-12pm)

 

Health and care partners in Northumberland have already been working hard to transform local services and create an NHS which is fit for the future, after being identified by NHS England as a ‘vanguard’ site in March 2015.  The county is well ahead of other parts of the NHS in meeting the challenges outlined in the NHS Five Year Forward View (5YFV) which describes how the NHS must innovate and change for the future in order to do three things:

  • Increase focus on prevention so that people are empowered to take accountability and responsibility for their own health and wellbeing and do not become unwell with wholly avoidable illnesses
  • Improve the quality and safety of care by reshaping how services are delivered, harnessing new technology and driving down any variations in patients’ experiences
  • Improve the efficiency of how services are run to ensure the best value for money for the tax payer, reduce unnecessary duplication and remove unnecessary organisational boundaries.

 

In addition to the vanguard programme, the draft STP for ‘Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, and North Durham’, which was published at the start of November, has also been developed in partnership by local NHS leaders in response to the NHS Five Year Forward View.  It describes an approach to how the above challenges can be delivered locally by 2020/21.

The STP commends the development of the Northumberland vanguard work and ACO model as ‘hugely important – not only for the local area, but for other NHS colleagues looking at similar models across the country’.

Cynthia Atkin, chair of Healthwatch Northumberland, said: “It is important that people understand more about the accountable care organisation for Northumberland and how this fits with the draft sustainability and transformation plan.

“We very much welcome these engagement events and the opportunity for Healthwatch to be involved.  The work which has been taking place as part of the vanguard programme has been fantastic and it is making sure that, as a county, our health and care services are once again at the forefront.”

The ACO for Northumberland is set to become operational from April 2017 and will be the first of its kind in the whole NHS.  It brings together both providers and commissioners of local NHS services as well as Northumberland County Council, helping to maximise the opportunities for an integrated approach across NHS services, social care and public health.

The aim is to support people to stay healthy and well, break down organisational silos and make sure patient and carer experiences are as seamless as possible.  The draft STP describes the ACO vision as something which will ensure services are provided in ‘the best interests of the local population, rather than restricted by organisational structures’.

New models of care, including the work of the vanguards, are key to the delivery of sustainability and transformation plans which are being developed across the country.

To read more about the draft STP for ‘Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, and North Durham’ and give your thoughts by 20 January 2017, visit www.northumberlandccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/stp/.

£4.29 million funding for Northumberland as county leads the way for future NHS

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The NHS in Northumberland has been awarded £4.29 million funding from NHS England as part of its vanguard programme and as work gathers pace to further integrate health and social care services across the county.

From April 2017 and subject to final approval in the New Year, health and care partners in Northumberland are set to form England’s first accountable care organisation (ACO), building on successful work over many years to join up services.

The ACO for Northumberland will be the first of its kind in the whole NHS and is a partnership between both providers and commissioners of local NHS services including Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, primary care services, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.

Crucially, the ACO will also include commissioners of NHS services with a shared support structure already in place, in shadow form, between Northumberland County Council and NHS Northumberland CCG.  This pioneering approach will maximise the opportunities for an integrated, strategic commissioning approach across NHS services, social care and public health.

The new way of working in Northumberland aims to create a much more sustainable NHS for the future by breaking down organisational barriers and joining up services for patients.  Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust will be the host provider of the new ACO partnership, which will build on work which has been taking place over the past two years in Northumberland since the county was awarded ‘vanguard’ status.

To help people understand more about the new ACO partnership in Northumberland and how this will help deliver the ambitions of the wider draft regional sustainability and transformation plan, members of the public are being invited to a series of engagement events in January to find out more.

Supported by Healthwatch Northumberland, the events will be held as follows:

  • Tuesday 10 January – Hexham Community Centre (2-4pm)
  • Thursday 12 January – Blyth Community Enterprise Centre (10am-12pm)
  • Thursday 12 January – Northumberland CVA, Ashington (2-4pm)
  • Friday 13 January – Bellview Resource Centre, Belford (10am-12pm)

Local GP Dr Alistair Blair, who has been at the forefront of the vanguard programme, said: “In Northumberland we’re well ahead in terms of joining up different parts of our health and care system and we’ve already delivered some major innovations. The transformation of emergency care, despite some of the teething challenges at The Northumbria, is already having a very positive impact not only on patient care, outcomes and experiences, but also on the efficiency of our system as a whole.

“We now need to build on these achievements and really focus our collective efforts on supporting people to stay healthy and well.  The development of an ACO will allow us to do just that and will be a major step forward in helping us to proactively address some of the really big challenges facing the NHS.”

Mr David Evans, chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “The ACO development represents new territory for the entire NHS and means, for the first time, all health and care organisations will be around the top table to discuss and agree, as strategic partners, how best to invest in patient care and develop services.  Nowhere else in the country is doing this and it is testament to the strong, positive relationships that exist right across our system that we are so far ahead.

“Our vanguard work is critical to the successful delivery of the ambitions outlined in both the NHS Five Year Forward View and the sustainability and transformation planning which has been taking place right across the NHS. All of this work fits together and is focussed on three simple things; improving the healthcare people receive; preventing ill health; and making sure the NHS operates as efficiently as possible, both now and in the future.”

Cynthia Atkin, chair of Healthwatch Northumberland said: “It is important that people understand more about the ACO for Northumberland and how this fits with the draft sustainability and transformation plan for the region.  We very much welcome these engagement events and the opportunity for Healthwatch to be involved.  The work which has been taking place as part of the vanguard programme has been very welcome and is making sure that as a county, our health and care services are once again at the forefront.”

By coming together as an ACO, health and care leaders in Northumberland aim to break down organisational silos and build future services which are truly developed around the needs of patients and which provide a seamless experience between hospital, in the community and at home.

The aim is to better co-ordinate care, make sure patient and carer experiences are as seamless as possible and support people to stay healthy and well.  To do this in Northumberland, all of the ACO partners will be working towards a set of shared quality objectives with everybody focussed on keeping people healthy and well.

The £4.29 million funding allocated for 2017/18 will allow the pioneering work taking place in Northumberland to be scaled up and shared across ‘sustainability and transformation’ footprint areas across the country, enabling other parts of the NHS to learn from the best and deliver tangible quality improvements.

Samantha Jones, director of the New Care Models programme at NHS England said: “The vanguards are making great progress and have already made a tangible impact on the lives of patients and the working lives of staff.  2017/18 is a crucial year for the vanguards, in particular how we further spread their work across the wider NHS and care services.  This funding, as well as the support we offer to them, will help them to continue to move at pace.”