Herefordshire and Worcestershire ICB on strategies, elective recovery, mental health care and more

We’ve taken a look at last month’s board papers from Herefordshire and Worcestershire ICB, in which chief executive Simon Trickett provided an overview of recent developments across the ICS.

Update on strategies and plans

Firstly, Simon gave an update on the integrated care strategy – noting that stakeholders and partners are expected to make their final comments and feedback by 26th April. It is anticipated that the final strategy will be published shortly after this.

The Joint Forward Plan (JFP) is also in the drafting process, which will set out the contributions of NHS partners towards the delivery of the integrated care strategy’s priorities. The JFP will be jointly produced as a single system delivery plan between the ICB, the three NHS trusts and primary care, covering a period of five years.

Alongside the JFP, the annual operational plan is being produced which will establish the ICB’s key priorities and ambitions for the next 12 months.

Demand and capacity; the Fuller stocktake; mental health update; and more

Looking at demand and capacity modelling, Simon goes on to explain that a core element of this year’s planning process is the “creation of a system-wide strategic demand and capacity model.” As the last model of this kind was produced back in 2016/17, the board highlights the necessity of refreshing this work to ensure there is a robust platform from which to build the system’s future plans. The board anticipates that the creation of this model will ensure that the “longer term strategic plans are built on a detailed and granular understanding of forces demand.” The completed first phase model is expected to be completed in May, which will directly inform both the operational plan and the JFP.

Next, the papers examine the Fuller Stocktake and the actions highlighted within it to ensure “sustainable and viable general practice.” The vision for the future care model involves building Integrated Neighbourhood Teams to achieve the three essential deliverables, which will be supported through digital, workforce and estates. Those three deliverables are improved access to urgent care; improved continuity for people with complex needs; and reduced health inequalities along with a more ambitious approach to prevention.

On elective recovery, the papers note how the ICB and NHSE have continued to hold weekly escalation meetings in relation to both the 78- week waiting list position and the cancer position against the 62-day target at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. Whilst good progress has been made in cancer, the 78-week waiting list position continues to be a significant challenge. The ICB has identified additional resources to support the trust in identifying patients on the waiting list who could be transferred to the independent sector or another NHS provider for treatment before the end of March 2023.

With regards to mental health care, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Mental Health Collaborative continues to explore new ways to integrate commissioning and provision through delegating the procurement of mental health programme and budgets to Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust. This will enable decision-making by local leaders who are highly experienced in mental health and wellbeing. There are discussions around moving to fully delegated arrangements from 1 October 2023; the ICB is working closely with NHSE to establish a local two-stage delegation assurance process.

The Health inequalities, Prevention and Personalisation Board has met and progressed work in several areas, having received detailed analysis of waiting lists which considers variation by deprivation. This work has progressed to place-based groups to consider appropriate interventions at a community level, to ensure all communities are able and comfortable to seek support from health services. Development of the outreach service is underway, which aims to increase uptake of health checks and screening within areas of higher deprivation and diversity as well as areas of higher rurality.

The board provided an update on developmental work underway with Macmillan, which aims to ensure people living with cancer and residents living in the most deprived communities have access to support services in their local areas. Depending on funding and partnership agreement, this service will commence operation in the summer, running alongside the outreach service.

The Health Inequalities, Prevention and Personalisation Board is also transitioning to a programme board function as part of the ongoing governance review.

For further information regarding the ICB, please click here.