“Together We’re Better is comprised of NHS and local government organisations, Healthwatch and voluntary sector groups – all working together to transform health and care for the better and achieve our vision of ‘working with you to make Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent the healthiest places to live and work’.
Since 2016, we have been identifying new and innovative ways of delivering better and more joined up care through our clinically-led work programmes:
- Enhanced Primary and Community Care
- Urgent and Emergency Care
- Planned Care
- Maternity, Children and Young People
- Mental Health
- Organisational Development and System Leadership
- Health and Care in Stafford
This is an ambitious task and will take us several years to realise in full, but we remain clear in our view that local people deserve the best health and care services that we can provide with the money we have available.
That partnership approach is already helping to make a difference. Winter is always an extremely challenging time, but our partners have been working hard to learn the lessons from last year and develop a robust plan for the local health and care system that has been recognised at a national level.
Extra capacity has been built in, with 170,000 extra GP appointments planned. In addition, the £8.8m of extra Government money for University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) to fund two new modular wards at Royal Stoke University Hospital is helping to make a difference.
We are also working together to introduce a network of Integrated Care Teams (ICTs). ICTs see general practice, community and mental health services working alongside social care professionals and the voluntary and independent sector to provide a coordinated approach to improving the health and care of the community they serve. Four early adopter sites are up and running in Leek/Biddulph, Lichfield/Burntwood, Longton/Meir and Stafford and we’ll be rolling out more ICTs across the area in 2019.
To achieve the lasting change we all want to see, it’s vital that everyone is given the opportunity to influence our decision making and in spring 2019 we plan to begin a conversation with local people to develop proposals jointly with patients, carers, clinicians, staff and everyone who is interested in having a say.
These early discussions will help to shape and form the basis of a future formal consultation. We hope you will take part in the events and digital conversations that we are planning. Over the coming months, we will be sharing some of the fantastic stories about how local staff, clinicians and communities are improving peoples’ lives whilst also talking about the areas where we have ideas to make changes.
Every single day in our local system, health and care staff on the front line and behind the scenes deliver amazing care and support. Of course, there are times when we could do better and we are striving to make our local system the best that it can be.”