This is a sponsored article and is brought to you by the Health and Care Innovation Expo.
Since the birth of the NHS in 1948, England’s demographics have changed immeasurably. As the NHS gears up to mark its 70th anniversary next year, it is now working more closely than ever before with social care providers and commissioners to respond to these changes.
Published in 2014, the NHS’ Five Year Forward View tackled head-on the health and care challenges presented by the increasing proportion of older people suffering one or more long-term condition. It set out a vision for integrated networks of care, breaking down traditional divides between primary care, community services including social care, and hospitals.
Earlier this year, NHS England published its “Next Steps” update, which described in more detail how the NHS, local government and social care need to work together to achieve this vision – and called for “the biggest national move to integrated care of any Western country”.
Through sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs), the NHS in England is working in partnership, at local level, with local government and social care to make this move a reality.
The Next Steps document says: “These partnerships are more than just the ‘wiring’ behind the scenes. They are a way of bringing together GPs, hospitals, mental health services and social care to keep people healthier for longer and integrate services around the patients who need it most.”
Over the past 18-24 months fifty “vanguard” areas around England, covering more than five million people, have been working to redesign care, focusing on better integration across all services and developing their own local solutions.
Compared with a 2014-15 baseline, multi-speciality community providers (MCP) and integrated primary and acute care systems (PACS) vanguards have seen lower growth in emergency hospital admissions and emergency inpatient bed days than the rest of England.
Louise Watson, Director, New Care Models Programme said: “The vanguards have been at the forefront of developing new care models that respond not only to the challenges facing our health and care services, but also fundamentally change the way we work with patients and local people.
“Whether this is through harnessing new technologies, redesigning the workforce, or focusing on supporting local communities to manage their own health and wellbeing, the vanguards are seeing positive results across the country.
“Through sharing how these local health systems are making these changes, not just within the NHS but in partnership with social care and other partners, we can ensure that the successes of the vanguards can be replicated across the country.”
Last year, local areas developed their own initial sustainability and transformation plans, drawing on the lessons learned from the vanguard areas. They are now working with local communities to develop and deliver these proposals through the new partnerships.
In some areas, the partnerships will evolve into ‘accountable care systems’ in which NHS providers, commissioners and often local authorities come together to take collective responsibility for a defined population, sharing resources and eventually taking on greater decision-making rights and control of their budgets.
All of this means that social care will have greater involvement than ever before in the way NHS services are delivered, with both commissioners and providers working more closely with hospital, community and GP health services.
So what does all this mean in practice? Health and Care Innovation Expo, on 11-12 September at Manchester Central, will explore this question in detail, with perspectives from national and local NHS Leaders, the Care Quality Commission, the Local Government Association, and social care provider associations including the National Care Forum.
One of the four large centrepiece exhibition zones will focus entirely on transformation of care, with displays, presentations and curated networking from local partnerships of NHS and local government leaders, while others will look at the role of social care in the key areas of primary care and urgent and emergency care.
STP leaders locally and nationally will also host dedicated workshops exploring the different challenges and opportunities presented by this work.
All public and voluntary sector social care staff are eligible for free-of-charge places, while private and commercial provider staff can claim a 20% discount on their ticket prices. This will be a really unique opportunity to learn about social care’s contribution to the future of health and care in England, and I urge you to join us there.
To check your eligibility for a complementary place, or to claim your discounted ticket, please contact the Expo team at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Picture - Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, addressing the event last year.