News in brief: what’s happening in the integrated care systems?

Today at IH, we will explore some of the latest ICS news stories that have emerged over the past month.

Resident engagement in South West London

South West London ICS and Ruils Independent Living have joined forces to find out what Richmond residents think about their local community and health services.

The Community Conversations project involves care service workers knocking on doors across Hampton, Whitton and Heathfield and Ham and Petersham to engage with people in the community. The proactive nature of the project is designed to support the team in having honest discussions with residents about the way care is received; providing an opportunity to develop understanding around the broader issues of health and care at a local level.

The project also enables those facing health inequalities across Richmond to have their voices heard, opening up a conversation around the best way forward to improve care in a sustainable and meaningful way.

Cathy Maker, chief executive at Ruils, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for residents to let us know how they are accessing local health and wellbeing services and also, if they aren’t, what would make them more likely to engage.”

New leadership programme launched in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes

Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes ICS has recently launched a new leadership programme. The programme was formed using feedback from up to 70 local GP nurses and aims to empower nurses by providing career progression pathways – enabling them to develop their full potential.

38 nurses will be joining the programme, with the first session having already taken place at the Rufus Centre in Flitwick. The programme will feature guest speakers from a diverse range of backgrounds, covering topics such as the future of nursing in the region and how to develop “brave leaders and thriving teams”.

Janet Thornley, strategic primary care nurse lead for BLMK ICB, said: “This course will help nurses to regain their voices, be empowered at work, and feel better able to lead and influence change across their teams – which will ultimately lead to better care for our patients.”

The year-long programme will predominantly run via monthly online sessions, with a final face-to-face event set to conclude the course in February 2024.

Grant scheme tackling health inequalities in Birmighiman and Solihull

A new small grant scheme has been introduced in Birmingham, aiming to improve health outcomes for the most vulnerable and underserved communities in the city.

The scheme is part of the Fairer Futures Fund – an initiative created by partners at Birmingham and Solihull ICS to combat health inequalities – and has made £200,000 available for grants of up to £10,000, to boost investments in community-based projects throughout the area.

These groups or communities include new migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, homeless people, people with substance misuse difficulties, people with autism, people with learning disabilities, women, people experiencing racial disparity and LGBTQ+ groups.

Bringing together health services in Wallsend

Park Road Medical Centre and Portugal Place Health Centre have merged to create the new Hadrian Health Centre in Wallsend town centre, which recently opened its doors – setting out on an ambitious journey to reshape healthcare services in the local area.

The £9.5 million development is located at the heart of Wallsend and brings together a range of health and community services such as district nursing, podiatry, diabetes, speech, physiotherapy and North Tyneside Talking Therapies.

Feedback from the local community has thus far proved positive, with comments that the centre is a bright, modern space that provides easy access to a variety of services for the local population.

Anya Paradis, director of place for the North East and North Cumbria ICB, said: “This new facility will help transform healthcare services in the area as it brings together local clinicians and a range of community health services, in a convenient location for the local community, as well as helping the regeneration of Wallsend town centre.”

Urgent surgical care unit opened in Hampshire

Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester has opened a new urgent surgical care unit to further support patients needing urgent surgical care, to get the treatment they need sooner. 

The unit can provide care and services for patients who have either been referred to the unit by their GP or who have been identified as suitable upon arrival at the emergency department – thus decreasing the number of patients waiting to be seen. The unit provides direct access to specialist surgical staff, speeding up expert assessments and ensuring patients can receive the treatment they need more quickly.

For patients requiring admission to a ward, the unit starts the important first steps of care which includes undertaking specialist assessments, arranging scans and pain relief – helping the patient whilst freeing up vital time for ward staff.

To keep updated on the latest ICS news, be sure to keep an eye on our website; you can also find us on Twitter and LinkedIn.