An integrated care system (ICS) is when all organisations involved in health and care work together in different, more joined-up ways. The focus is on providing care in a way that benefits patients.
From family doctors, to mental health staff, community teams and our major hospitals, we’re using our collective resources, skills and expertise to make care and support better for our residents across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
All of our local NHS organisations, councils and other organisations have been working together as a sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) since 2016. In April 2021 NHS England formally accredited Herefordshire and Worcestershire as an Integrated Care System.
Across Herefordshire and Worcestershire we have:
- 3 NHS Trusts
- 8 Local Authorities
- 15 Primary Care Networks (PCNs)
- 80 GP Practices
- 123 Community Pharmacies
- 96 Dentists
- 64 Optometrists
- Thousands of voluntary and community sector organisations
The system has agreed a vision and set of objectives and ambitions that it asks all partners to take account of when developing their own organisational and place plans. The vision, objectives and ambitions are set out below:
Working together to enable better health, fulfilment, and safety in our residents’ lives
Ensuring healthier, well connected and more resilient communities with targeted support to reduce health inequalities and inequities, preventing ill health
To provide high quality services through improving access to clinically effective treatments
To make the best use of resources, being exemplar employers and strengthening the local economy by employing local people, and investing in local businesses wherever possible
To promote a healthier physical environment; reducing our carbon footprint through positive action around our buildings, working practices and digital transformation
Children have the best start to life
People live longer, healthier lives, particularly those experiencing health inequalities
People take steps towards good health and wellbeing
More people will live independently in strong resilient communities
Our system provides access to health and care interventions at the right time
A reduction in preventable long-term conditions and improved self management for those with a long-term conditions
Increased access to mental health and wellbeing services for children and young people
Our system is a great place to work; supportive equality, diversity and inclusion
We make the best use of resources
We enable the local economy through our role as anchor organisations
More support for informal carers
People are empowered to become more active
A reduced carbon footprint for health and care organisations
An increase in the use of effective, digitally enabled care, supported by digital inclusion
Our Integrated Care System is a partnership of all parts of the NHS working together with councils and other partners.
Within the NHS there are three key groupings working at different levels and geographies.
- Fifteen primary care networks across Herefordshire and Worcestershire. A Primary Care Network (PCN) consists of groups of general practices working together, and in partnership with community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services in their local area, to offer more personalised, coordinated health and social care to the people living in their area.
- Two place-based partnerships – one in Herefordshire and one in Worcestershire - drawing together all provider NHS organisations in a given area and working more closely with social care.
- A single NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for Herefordshire and Worcestershire, which was created in April 2020. Changes proposed in the Health and Care Bill will see the CCG replaced by a new statutory body called NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire and the creation of a new Integrated Care Partnership Assembly across the two counties.
The ICS partnership currently includes representatives from:
- Bromsgrove District Council
- Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust
- Herefordshire Council
- Malvern Hills District Council
- NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group
- Redditch Borough Council
- SW Healthcare
- Taurus Healthcare
- West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust
- Worcester City Council
- Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
- Worcestershire County Council
- Wychavon District Council
- Wye Valley NHS Trust
- Wyre Forest District Council
Benefits to health and care staff working across Herefordshire and Worcestershire include:
- Higher job satisfaction as working in teams is less isolated and more rewarding
- Better work/life balance with each professional able to focus on what they do best
- Greater resilience and less risk of burnout
- Greater influence on how resources are used to best effect for patients
- Help staff to work more effectively with partners to focus on whole population health and wellbeing, not just focus on treating illness.
Benefits to patients and service users across Herefordshire and Worcestershire include:
More support to stay fit and well before things become a problem
Better access to the care you need, when you need it, in a way that suits you: evenings, weekends, over the phone, by video link or face-to-face with a physio, nurse, clinical pharmacist, GP, or support from a non-medical service
More focus on your physical and mental health and wellbeing – on what matters to you, not the condition or disease that you may have
More care out-of-hospital, with staff working together as a single team across organisations to help people stay as well as possible and get the care they need when they need it
Better identification of the issues that need tackling and a real focus on quality services, wherever they are provided
Help us to work together to address all of the factors that affect people’s health – from jobs to housing, from education to environment. It is so much more than just access to health services