From 1 April 2021 the NHS and its partners in Kent and Medway have been formally designated an Integrated Care System (ICS).
The ICS will build on the work of the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) which started in 2016 and has helped deliver a range of improvements to health services across Kent and Medway.
Interim Chair of the Integrated Care System, John Goulston, said:
“Together we can be more than the sum of our parts, and we will achieve more for the health and wellbeing of our population by maximising the integration of services.
"As a partnership we have agreed a simple statement of our purpose: We will work together to make health and wellbeing better than any partner can do alone.
“A key part of this is putting our clinicians and service professionals at the heart of what we do. This clinical leadership will build on our work as an STP which has been led by a Clinical and Professional Board.
“Maximising the benefits of integrated care also means further strengthening the partnerships we have with local authorities and the voluntary and community sector; and strengthening how we involve patient and public in planning improvements.”
Senior Responsible Officer for the ICS, Wilf Williams, said:
“Kent and Medway has faced the last 12 months of the pandemic as a true partnership. Every part of the NHS has come together and risen to the challenges of the pandemic; both in caring for those affected by Covid-19 and now in rolling out the vaccinations.
“Close working with councils and other members of the Kent Resilience Forum through the pandemic and EU exit has also shown the value of all public services working together on common objectives.
“As we begin to move beyond the pandemic we will build on this enthusiasm and ‘can do’ approach to joint working to deliver the vision of our integrated care system.”
The vision of the Kent and Medway Integrated Care System is to:
- Give children the best start in life and work to make sure they are not disadvantaged by where they live or their background, and are free from fear or discrimination.
- Help the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in society to improve their physical and mental health; with a focus on the social determinants of health and preventing people becoming ill in the first place.
- Help people to manage their own health and wellbeing and be proactive partners in their care so they can live happy, independent and fulfilling lives; adding years to life and life to years.
- Support people with multiple health conditions to be part of a team with health and care professionals working compassionately to improve their health and wellbeing.
- Ensure that when people need hospital services, most are available from people’s nearest hospital; whilst providing centres of excellence for specialist care where that improves quality, safety and sustainability.
- Make Kent and Medway a great place for our colleagues to live, work and learn.
The partners of the Kent and Medway Integrated Care System will work together as one group on issues affecting all areas and within four Integrated Care Partnerships to design more locally focussed improvements. There are also 42 Primary Care Networks across Kent and Medway which are groups of general practices working with other local partners to improve community based services in their areas.
Find out more about the Integrated Care System, Integrated Care Partnerships and Primary Care Networks at www.kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk/ICS