North London Partners in health and care

System Update Message December 2020

As a turbulent and challenging 2020 draws to a close there is no let-up in the incredible amount of work going on across North Central London to deliver health and care.

We are delighted to say that the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine is now underway commencing at the Royal Free Hospital Hub.  From this week, five local vaccine services – one in each borough – have come online, with a further six due to come online later in the week. We are prioritising those most vulnerable to Covid-19, in line with national guidance, focussing on vaccinating over 80s, plus frontline care home and NHS staff. We have well established plans for delivering vaccinations across NCL, with experience of delivering the annual flu jab and routine immunisations for children and pregnant women. We are confident in our ability to come together as a system to provide a safe and effective vaccination programme while continuing to offer timely access to other NHS services.

Meanwhile north central London hospitals have been working hard over the past three months to create additional capacity in the system through the development of surgical hubs. Established on existing hospital sites in coronavirus protected environments the hubs bring together dedicated teams of staff to provide safe and high quality elective care covering six specialities. Since their establishment three months ago we are starting to see the impact on waiting lists. 

All this work illustrates how our health and care services are functioning as a system, with North Central London Integrated Care System (ICS) receiving formal designated status, the evolution of our journey started in response to the NHS Long Term Plan at the beginning of 2019. We will look at progressing our ICS developments plans to allow us to work together to support our residents to start well, live well and age well.

We are also considering how to respond to recent NHS England and NHS Improvement proposals for next steps for ICS systems and the options for legislative changes and the opportunities for closer working across the system between NHS bodies, councils and other partners.

It is heartening that some of the hard work going on across NCL has been recognised at national level.  We have had 10 finalists in the Health Service Journal Award, the Barnet Sats Probe Home Delivery Team has been named a regional winner in the Parliamentary Awards for Excellence in Primary Care. Huge congratulations to all involved.

While it is great to have work recognised nationally we are very conscious of the amazing work that goes on everyday across NCL as staff go the extra mile to deliver excellent health and care services.  We want to thank all our staff, partners, volunteers, stakeholders and colleagues for all your tremendous support through what has been an incredibly busy and challenging year.  Together we will look forward to the challenges and opportunities that 2021 present.  If you are taking time off over the Christmas Holiday period, we hope it is restful and enjoyable for you and your family and friends.

Frances O’Callaghan, Accountable Officer NCL CCG, Joint ICS SRO                

Rob Hurd, NCL ICS Lead, Joint ICS SRO