Our Priorities for 2017/18
Our plan is a direct response to what local people have told us they want from health and care services. Over the past two years, partner organisations have conducted numerous engagement activities and this has informed our proposals. People have said they want a more joined up health and care service, enabled by simple and effective administrative processes and IT that enables access to the service quickly and effectively.
Our residents told us they want access to a wide range of community support and for services to be clearly signposted and for services that recognise and respond to the diverse nature of our boroughs.
There are times when hospital is not the best place to receive care. Our evidence supports a move to a system where we can care for people closer to their homes and their support network of friends and family.
Our plan is about supporting people to stay well throughout their lives, safe in knowledge that when they need care, it will be the right care, delivered in a setting that will be conducive to their recovery and it will be provided by well-trained, caring and compassionate health and care professionals.
We know cannot do everything at once – if we try, the chances of failure are too high. It is important that we prioritise our programme of work if we are to be successful in implementing our plan. For the coming year we have identified priority areas outlined below that we will focus on to drive forward transformation while other areas of work are developed.
Helping people stay healthy and well
Creating a healthier population is at the heart of our plan. We know that improving the health and wellbeing of our people is determined by more than just disease. Much of the burden of ill health, poor quality of life, and health inequalities in North London is preventable. Between 2012 and 2014, an estimated 20% (4,628) of deaths in our community were from preventable causes. By focusing on helping people to stay well we will improve health and wellbeing outcomes for our whole population, reduce health inequalities, and help manage demand for health and care services in both the immediate and longer term.
Building health and care services near to where you live
Working with our partners, including hospitals, GPs, community and social care, as well as with patients/residents and the voluntary sector, we will deliver the right care at the right time to the people of North London.
Health and care will be available closer to home for all. People will receive care in the best possible local setting and with local accountability. At the heart of the care closer to home model is a ‘place-based’ population health system. This means that care delivery draws together social, community, primary and specialist services. Alongside care delivery, our focus on prevention and supported self-care. Our aim is that by keeping people well and helping them to remain independent, over time we can reduce the demand on the health and care system and make the system more sustainable. The voluntary sector will play a key role in the design, development and expansion of the future model.
Services you can rely on in an emergency
Our aim is to provide a consistent urgent and emergency care service. Patients will be seen by the most appropriate professional for their needs - which may include directing them to an alternative emergency or urgent care service. There is strong evidence that shows getting patients to the right specialist service, even if that service is not at their local hospital, improves recovery and longer term health outcomes.
We want to develop high quality ambulance services across North London so patients can be assessed, diagnosed, treated and able to go home on the same day without needing a hospital admission.
For those patients who need emergency treatment, we aim to have services in place that help them to leave hospital as quickly as possible and rehabilitate closer to their home, if appropriate.
Planning and delivering the care you need
We want to reduce variation in the way we deliver planned care across North London. We aim to make sure patients can access the right expertise locally and that their experience of surgery is seamless, smooth and efficient. The experience for the patient should be consistent and straightforward from pre-admission through to recovery. This will make us more efficient, and there will be less variation in the experience for our patients and more consistent outcomes.
We want to improve patients’ access to information and help people manage health conditions without surgical intervention where possible. Local people have told us they want to be out of hospital and back into their own home as quickly and safely as possible.
Supporting people to recover from mental ill health
Living in the 21st century can be stressful. Many children and young people, and adults are living with mental illness. We are committed to giving equal priority to physical and mental illness. For many people, their first diagnosis of a mental health issue occurs in an acute hospital environment. However, a hospital is not the right place for someone to begin their recovery. We can reduce demand on hospital care and mental health inpatient beds by providing the right care in the right setting in the community.
Coupled with our prevention agenda, we want to keep people well and be able to provide support early when someone is at risk of becoming unwell. Our mental health services will focus on recovery and on supporting people to regain their health, wellbeing and independence.
Our plan includes increasing access to primary care mental health services and improving how we manage acute mental health problems. We are building community capacity to enable people to stay well and investing in mental health liaison services. We want more people in hospitals have their mental health needs supported. We will also look to strengthen perinatal and child and adolescent mental health services.
Work continues to implement our plans in other key areas. To find out more, please look at our plans.