Partnership to improve local health and care services celebrates first anniversary

This week marks one year since the launch of 29 vanguards that are leading a national NHS programme aimed at transforming care for patients in towns, cities and counties across England.

There are now 50 vanguards in total, including Stockport Together.

Stockport Together is part of the national new care models programme which is playing a key role in the delivery of the Five Year Forward View – the vision for the future of the NHS.

Through this programme, vanguards from Whitstable to Birmingham and Yeovil to Blackpool are testing out new ways of delivering care that will act as blueprints for the future of the health and care system. This is all about making health and care services more accessible and more effective for patients, improving their experiences and their outcomes.

To help Stockport Together make the changes it wants to make and at a pace for the benefit of local patients it last year received £3.9m of additional funding. This will also help it to spread good practice across the wider NHS and social care community, as well as to improve the working lives of doctors, nurses and other NHS and care staff who work in Stockport.

The money, which covers the current financial year (2015/16) is being drawn from a national £200 million NHS transformation fund.

In addition, Stockport Together As part of Stockport Together’s plan to get health and social care teams to work more closely together, eight integrated neighbourhood services are being set up across the borough.

An integrated neighbourhood service is simply a number of health and social care professionals working better together to plan and co-ordinate care for the people who need it most.

Cheadle was the first area to operate an integrated neighbourhood service, hosting multi-disciplinary team meetings with GPs, social workers, district nurses, mental health professionals, and wider community support teams. This group now come together to discuss the needs of people who’ve been identified as needing care that involves more than one organisation.

People who will benefit from this are likely to have one or more complex health or social care need, and may currently be visited by a number of care professionals who are all working to deliver the support required.

A care co-ordinator will be assigned, who will create a ‘single care plan’ to make sure that everything is provided in the easiest way possible. This ‘single care plan’ will mean that all health and social care professionals dealing with the person will know what care is needed and how to work together to deliver it.

The remaining neighbourhoods in Stockport are now beginning to work this way, and over the coming months will plan how the teams will work together to provide their local residents with the health and social care they need.

Since starting to operate in this way in October 2015, the team in Cheadle has seen an improvement in the way in which the different health and social care professionals are able to work together to provide the highest quality, joined up care for people in their area.

Social Worker: “Since the social care officer has been based in the same place as the wider team, it’s been easier to have conversations about clients and has therefore improved the service we can offer.”

District Nurse: “As a result of attending the joint weekly meetings, the district nursing team has been able to have discussions with the occupational therapist regarding equipment & adaptation support, which means we can provide a much quicker service for people when they need it.”

Samantha Jones, Director – New Care Models Programme, said: “Our programme is about radical redesign to sustain the NHS – that’s locally led by frontline NHS and social care staff in partnership with patients, carers and the local community, including organisations outside the NHS such as councils and voluntary groups.

“One year on from the launch of the programme there is a real sense of moving from the planning stage to delivery. Significant change is happening on the ground and the vanguards are starting to make a real difference to the lives of thousands of people. The progress we are making wouldn’t have been possible without the fantastic support and hard work and dedication of every partner, organisation and member of staff involved.”

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