Posted on Monday 28 January 2013
Residents of Southwark and Lambeth are benefiting from a radical new approach to ‘joining up’ services across the local NHS and local authority social care – one of the first major schemes of its kind ‘integrating care’ in the UK.
The purpose is to provide better-coordinated preventative care, and to enable people to take a more active role in their own health. People will have a better experience of care, and have more support to keep healthy and maintain their independence. Our focus is on improving the way that care is provided to give the best possible outcomes for people, given the level of funding available.
Local people have had a major role in shaping our vision. They want to be treated as a ‘whole person’, to have more support to stay fit and healthy, to have issues detected earlier, and to spend as little time as possible in hospital or in a care home.
Local people will continue to have a leading role as members of our Boards, and all are invited to become involved through our Citizen’s Forum, which meets for the first time on Monday 18 February. Further information is available at www.slicare.org.
Southwark and Lambeth Integrated Care is making a multi-million pound investment in preventative community services. GPs are inviting people for health checks to identify issues early; people with more complex needs will have an ‘Integrated Care Manager’ to plan their care with them; and a range of community and social care services have been developed to help keep people healthy and support them at home.
Sir Ron Kerr, Chief Executive of Guy’s and St Thomas' and co-chair for the programme, said: “Integrated Care is an opportunity to transform care and experiences for our local population. Our local hospitals are committed to working jointly with community colleagues to help keep people healthier. We hope that, as a result, people won’t need to come to hospital as often.”
Initially, the focus is on older people (aged 65+) and, during 2013, Southwark and Lambeth Integrated Care will be extended to cover care for all adults with long-term conditions. The approach will continue to expand, including other groups where a more joined-up approach would benefit local people.
We are delighted that Merav Dover has been appointed to lead this crucial programme to transform the local health and social care system, as Chief Officer. Merav has spent over 20 years working in public services.
Welcoming the fact that Southwark and Lambeth Integrated Care is now live, Dr Femi Osunuga, GP lead for Integrated Care in Southwark said: “This is a ground-breaking opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents, and it is fantastic that Southwark and Lambeth are among the first boroughs in the country to benefit from an initiative of this scale.”
Femi Osonuga, Jo Cleary and Ron Kerr are leading the programme as joint chairs of the Integrated Care Programme Board.