With our population living longer, many with complex health and care needs, a year ago, the NHS in south east London partnered with its six local authorities and hundreds of voluntary sector organisations to drive improvements in health and care services. The aim was to ensure our diverse communities can continue to live healthy and long lives.
A year on, our staff and partners reflect on this partnered working.
GP and Clinical Chair of the One Bromley Local Care Partnership, Dr Andrew Parson, highlights “the fantastic way partners came together” to support our hospitals during the very challenging winter.
Angela Helleur, Chief Nurse at NHS South East London Integrated Care Board, talks about how by working together with partners we can build a personal approach to care and wellbeing for the population of south east London.
“Integration is both an opportunity and a challenge. The rewards are felt by patients.”
Cllr Evelyn Okoto, Southwark councillor for health and wellbeing, suggests it has been a productive 12 months.
She says: “The first year of integration has allowed us to create the building blocks for closer alignment to be able to tackle the issues that our residents face together.”
Folake Segun, who leads South East London Healthwatch, reflects on the benefits of collaborative working: “I have seen more and more providers and commissioners working together with people and communities to make sure we have the healthcare that meets all our needs.”
Dr Ify Okocha, Chief Executive of Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, believes that after a year bringing people and organisations together, the focus is now shifting to delivering the key outcomes that integrated care systems were created to tackle.
“One of those is addressing inequalities so we very quickly need to understand our population, their needs and where the gaps are and how we address them.”
There is also recognition that it will take more than one year to transform how organisations – and the people in them – work. That is where a new approach to leadership comes in, as the ICB’s joint medical director, Dr Jonty Heaversedge, explains.
“Our new system leadership academy is allowing us to think quite differently about the type of leaders we need for our system. We are thinking about greater diversity and perspectives in leadership and how that can allow us to be much more radical in our thinking about the challenges we face in south east London.”