UCLH releases new strategy and plans for improving integrated care

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) has published a new outpatient strategy that will direct the trust from 2021 to 2026.

Luke O’Shea, director of the strategy, said: “This strategy, A Hospital Without Walls, is the culmination of months of work with more than 750 patients and staff. We found that while outpatient clinicians provide the very best possible care, we need to do much more to deliver a modern, sustainable and truly person-centred service. This strategy set out our goals and an ambitious programme of work to get there.” 

The strategy goes in-depth, addressing the key challenges of outpatient care, and the trust’s plans to play a key role in integrated care systems.  

Currently, UCLH is part of the North Central London CCG (NCL), along with 26 other partners across primary, secondary, and tertiary care, local authorities, mental health and social care.

As part of the new strategy, “population health and provision of healthcare will be improved through integration”, and UCLH aims to achieve this by increasing the use of social prescribing, as well as by working in the local community to address the three biggest causes of death in the local area – smoking, cardiovascular disease and obesity. The trust has also committed to providing alternative methods of technology to patients, to combat digital exclusion.  

The strategy also aims to address inequities through greater integration. “Equity of access and outcomes will be enhanced through integration”, will see the NCL ICS explore new integrated models of care with local mental health trusts. While a review into socio-economic factors, geography, protected characteristics, and socially excluded group-related data, will take place to further help combat inequities. The video clinic software will also be updated at the trust and that will provide closed captions to support patients who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

Key challenges that the new strategy aims to address, include:

• Joining up separate instances of a patient’s health record between providers. 

• Providing clinical teams with the time needed for new models of integrated working. 

• Enhancing equitable access to services for hard to reach and vulnerable groups of patients. 

• Playing a part in improving population health. 

Prevention will also be central in the care of local residents going forward and will adhere to the Health Education England initiative – Making Every Contact Count (MECC). UCLH will also look to increase the amount of “Health Trainers” across London, who will provide holistic support and advice to patients.  

In other UCLH news, Leading Healthcare also recently reported that the trust declared a climate emergency.

The full strategy is available to read online and in full, here.