‘A Healthier Wales’ (2018) the Welsh Government Strategy written in response to the Parliamentary Review of health and social care in Wales, puts in place the policy framework to integrate health and social care services in Wales at both the local and regional level.
Current ways of working provide a lack of opportunities for communities and professionals – including GPs, acute clinicians, social workers, nurses, allied health professionals, pharmacists and others – to take an active role in, and provide leadership for, local planning and service provision. The development of integrated health and social care localities provide a way to improve on this and ensure strong community, clinical and professional leadership.
The North Wales Regional Partnership Board has published its Population Needs Assessment Regional Plan (2018-23), which sets out its priorities for integrated working between health and social care. Based on the findings of this work, the Partnership Board developed a Transformation programme to deliver on agreed priorities and take forward the recommendations within ‘A Healthier Wales’.
The 6 Local Authorities and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) have been working together to establish integrated community-based services. The early development of these services has been supported by a range of funding streams, including the Welsh Government’s Integrated Care Fund (ICF).
Funded through the Welsh Government’s Transformation Fund, the work being undertaken within this programme seeks to build on the success of the ICF funded work, and implement new ways of working that place what matters to the people of North Wales at the heart of everything we do, are innovative and are a driver for real change.
Our intention is to bring together the range of community health, social care and third sector services to develop integrated health and social care localities within communities.
Community Resource Teams already exist across North Wales – these will be scaled up to provide integrated health and social care services to all people within a given locality. These local teams will be empowered to innovate and retain a local approach to the planning and delivery of services.
The approach is North Wales is one of ‘plan regionally, deliver locally’ – the development of new integrated health and social care services shall be guided by a series of overarching Design Principles. These principles describe ‘how’ integrated care should be planned and delivered. Building on the priorities outlined within ‘A Healthier Wales’, these Design Principles set out the expectation of a culture of respect, parity of esteem and genuine engagement in the planning and delivery of relationship-centred, high-quality integrated care and support.
The Design Principles are intended to be the driving force behind the changes in culture and services required over the coming months and years, to deliver these reforms successfully and improve outcomes for citizens. They explain what people using services, and their families and carers can expect from integrated services, as well as the behaviours and priorities expected of organisations and people planning and delivering care and support.
A Guide to Integrated Health and Social Care Localities in North Wales
Dr Chris Stockport
Executive Director, Primary Care and Community Services
Chair of the Community Services Transformation Board
“As a GP I am passionate about primary and community care innovation and service redesign and believe that we should develop our services around the needs of our citizens – not organisations. One of our priories is to provide improved care services closer to people’s homes. By encouraging better working between healthcare, social care and community and voluntary groups, we can do more to stop people needing to go to hospital for treatment and improve how they receive care in their own homes and communities.”
Head of Adult Social Care, Anglesey County Council
Vice Chair of the Community Services Transformation Board
“Our clear focus across North Wales is to help people stay where they love; their own home. To achieve this, we are developing an exciting programme of work to ensure better access to high quality care and support within people’s own homes and communities, with access to specialist help, when people need it.”
What is Health and Social Care Integration?
The way Health and Social Care Services are delivered across North Wales is changing.
Integrating Health and Social Care within localities will mean that we can bring services together within people’s communities, and ensure that they are coordinated, easier to access and better able to deliver what matters to people.
Council and Community Health Services, as well a range of support delivered by community groups and voluntary organisations will be joined up and delivered within new integrated Health and Social Care Localities. These services include:
- Community Nursing
- Social Work
- Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy
The people of North Wales have been very clear that they want to have better access to services in their own communities, and that they want to continue living in their own homes for as long as possible.
These new Integrated Health and Social Care Localities will improve support available within communities, meaning that people can remain in their own homes for longer, with better access to a range of services to meet their needs.
In North Wales
In North Wales the integration of Community Health and Social Care Services is underway. Representatives from all sectors including Councils, NHS, and the Third Sector have come together in Area Integrated Services Boards (AISB’s)
These Boards are committed to listening to the views of local communities and local professionals and to involving them in their efforts to plan services and support, in a way that meets the needs of local people.
Three Area Boards covering the West (Anglesey and Gwynedd), Central (Conwy and Denbighshire) and East (Wrexham and Flintshire) have been set up drive this change forward.
Locality Leadership Teams are being established and will be responsible for the commissioning and delivery of services within each of the new integrated Health and Social Care Localities.
Planning services at the Locality level is intended to improve the relationship between statutory Health and Social Care services and communities. Locality Leadership Teams will provide support to existing community-based services and activities as well as develop new opportunities where none exist currently.
We will focus of improving the health and well-being of people in North Wales. People will be able to better access a whole range of support within their own communities, earlier, and we will move away from proving specialist services, such as traditional day services, and connecting people to everyday activities within their local community instead.
Delivering more Health and Social Care services in the community will mean that we are able to support more people to stay in their own homes for longer, with fewer admissions to hospital and fewer people needing to move into long-term care.
So what does this mean for me?
You will start to see some real changes to the way that your care and support is delivered.
These changes will mean:
- Care and support that is community-focused and delivered locally
- Services that deliver what matters to you
- An increase in the resources available to people to enable them to live well within their own homes and communities
- Better, more integrated health and social care services that offer a seamless service
- Not having to repeat your story to a range of different professionals
- Greater choice and control
- Easy access to a hospital bed when you need it
- Better access to mainstream community services and support
- Greater involvement in the design and development of new ways of working