The Starting point
Our journey started in May 2013 when all the partners in our programme applied to the Department for Health to become one of the national "Pioneers” of integrated care.We succeeded – becoming one of only 14 sites across the country to be given the opportunity to break new ground and develop the service models and support systems that will define health and care services for decades to come.
After winning Pioneer status, we set about defining what Integrated Care is and how we were going to deliver it. Our first step was to bring together more than 150 representatives from across the health and social care system including service users and carers, to work together and define the framework for North West London.A fundamental principle of the programme is that service users and carers work in equal partnership with professionals at every stage of the journey. This overarching commitment to co-production ensured that service users – lay partners - were embedded within the working groups with a ‘Lay Partners Advisory Group’ overseeing and challenging the programme’s approach to engagement.
This first co-design stage was central to ensuring that the framework for Integrated Care in North West London puts the needs and aspirations of people at the centre of everything we do.The work of these five groups has been distilled into an integrated care ‘toolkit’ for use by people, communities and partners across North West London to help them begin to plan new ways of delivering care and support in their local areas, supporting people to stay well and independent. The toolkit is a living document and will continue to be updated as we continue to work together to deliver Integrated Care. The toolkit can be accessed here.
The first co-design phase drew on the collective knowledge and expertise of all our partners across North West London. We continued to support each other during the next phase as each of our local areas decided how they wished to develop their plans, aligning the work of the pioneer programme with their local strategic aims and direction, including their Better Care Fund plans.From January 2014, local areas developed outline plans for early adoption of Whole Systems Integrated Care. This meant commissioners and providers coming together to agree:
- A local vision for integrated care
- Which population groups to focus on first
- The outcomes we want to achieve for that population group
- What the new model of care should look like i.e. how professionals should work together in a single team to deliver joined up care and enable people to stay independent and well
These plans are now being finalised and will begin to be implemented from April this year as we start the exciting phase of using all we have learned and developed to improve care for patients.