Bucks ICS aims for joined-up working between health and social care services.
An early priority of the new health and social care system for Bucks is to provide extra hours of care for patients that is based in GP practices. Louise Watson says that by 1 October improved access should be in place across the county:
This will only be the beginning. To start with, the model will be very ‘doctor’ focused but as we develop it will become much broader – for example it could include group sessions to help people with long term conditions to self-manage; it could include multidisciplinary assessments.
This is just part of the work of The Buckinghamshire Integrated Care System (ICS) is taking on. The aims are to bring about joined-up working among those involved in our health and social care. They want to find ways to help the people of this county lead happy and healthier lives.
The Managing Director of the system is Louise Watson. She has recently reported on how things are going in a newsletter to everyone working on the changes and improvements that the county needs.
She explains that the set-up will be different in each area according to local needs. In areas where there are a large proportion of young families, there could be a greater focus on the children and young people.
This is just one aspect of a system that is intended to be new model of care for patients across the county. “A care model,” says Louise Watson, “describes not so much the clinical care that is delivered but how we deliver that care”.
The ‘care model’ will enable us to help people to adopt healthier lifestyles through all stages of the care they receive. They might need one-off support, support with their diagnosis and dedicated help for those with long term conditions and the co-ordination of more complex care.
In the new system, there will be a local plan for areas of between 100,000 and 150,000 people. Each of the seven areas will develop a single plan that describes the steps to deliver the care model. They will be tailored to suit the needs of people in that community.
The new care model requires closer working between all those concerned with primary care – the first people we go to for help. The plan calls for a “one team approach” to include the professionals who provide community and social care, mental health and general practice as well as charities and community organisations.
Importantly, the plans call for a good understanding of what people need. At Healthwatch Bucks, we want to make sure that local people really do have a say on what is being planned for their area.
Do you feel that your opinion is being asked for? Have you had the chance to tell those in charge of the future of health and social care services what you think? There’s an easy way to get your voiced heard: just contact us here at Healthwatch Bucks.
You can also read more about the new care system by checking out this leaflet from Bucks ICS.