In the run-up to the official move to integrated care systems, what are the essentials that leaders will have to ensure are in place if the new landscape is to be successful for the NHS, staff, and patients and carers?
In April 2022 new statutory arrangements for England’s ICSs come into force. A key component involves developing and building on place-based partnerships to co-ordinate, plan and deliver services in an integrated way.
Successive national strategies have made it clear that care should be delivered in the most appropriate setting for patients, and increasingly this would mean care taking place at or close to home.
Despite this, hospital remains the default for much care, and attempts to change this have proved challenging.
Hospitals are at the centre of local and regional healthcare systems, but how can they adapt and flex to meet the demands of a wider workforce – one that works in the community – and ensure that care is truly integrated?
One of the major problems is that even if staff are working in the community – often delivering care that would historically have taken place in hospital – they are still tethered to base; that is, they have to return to the hospital or main hub to conduct many tasks. Even if they have access to real-time shared care records, they still need to return to base to fulfill backroom functions, such as booking leave, or ordering equipment.
Key questions are:
· How can the smart hospital be a catalyst for change across an ICS or even a wider footprint?
· How can staff be enabled to deliver secondary care services out of hospital – and closer to people’s homes?
· How will capital programmes of the future need to develop to enable whole-system working, that isn’t tethered to the bricks and mortar of the acute hospital?
· How can you ensure your staff can stay connected, wherever they are?
This HSJ webinar, run in association with Cisco, brought together a small panel of experts to discuss these challenging and pressing questions.