Published on Tuesday 10 March 2015
A new healthcare model, to help shape a 21st century NHS, is to be piloted across Wirral.
NHS England have today (Tuesday 10th March) announced that Wirral Health Partners* will drive a new way of delivering more joined-up care for patients throughout the borough.
This new beginning for health and social care services will give GPs and hospital clinicians in Wirral the opportunity to work much more closely together by strengthening primary and ‘out of hospital’ care.
For patients it will mean services working more closely together resulting in a more streamlined experience. World leading information technology (IT) will also play a part in the model as IT systems will be able to talk to each other in real time providing even better healthcare expertise between clinicians. Patients will also see their health and social care taking place away from a hospital setting and closer to their home or community health centre.
An NHS of the future is more about personalised and coordinated health services for its patients. This means the traditional divide between primary care, community services and hospital care is no longer what the patient wants.
Wirral Health Partners will aim to dissolve these traditional boundaries because caring for both an ageing population and for patients with more complex long term conditions requires even greater partnership than what is currently available i.e.: providing single, unconnected ‘episodes’ of care. The dissolving of these boundaries will bring home care, mental health and community nursing, GP services and hospitals more closely together since the inception of the NHS in 1948.
The NHS continues to face unprecedented change and is currently dealing with a huge range of challenges. As a way of dealing with these growing issues, the Chief Executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens has set out plans to make the NHS the responsive, relevant, sustainable structure that it needs to be to meet these challenges over the next five years. He said:
“The NHS now has its own long term plan, backed by just about everybody, and today we’re firing the starting gun.
“Instead of the usual top-down administrative tinkering, we’re backing radical care redesign by frontline nurses, doctors and other staff - in partnership with their patients and local communities.”
Dr Pete Naylor, Chair of Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group and local GP, said:
“I’m delighted NHS England has chosen Wirral to help lead the country in shaping an NHS for the future.
“Wirral’s local population is getting older, sicker and frailer. Many of the patients we see each day also need more long term treatment and specialist care.
“This opportunity to be one of 29 carefully selected schemes from across the country will help Wirral’s vision of further cementing a realistic and sustainable NHS for many years to come.”
Dr Evan Moore is Medical Director at Wirral University Teaching Hospital. He said:
“Our vision for how healthcare should work in Wirral is actually quite simple. We believe that everyone who lives here should have access to the right care, in the right place, at the right time of life, in a way that suits them, and supports them to stay in good health throughout their lives.
“The status quo for the way we deliver healthcare in Wirral is quite simply unsustainable. Too many people come into hospital that don’t need to. This puts un-necessary pressure on our services, is really expensive, and most importantly, isn’t the best way to care for many people.”
Wirral is already piloting a model of integrated care through its ‘Vision 2018’ health economy collaboration programme. Vision 2018’s aim is to:
- Minimise the need for hospital admission through promoting health and wellbeing and proactively managing those most at risk
- Promote integration of care to avoid duplication and fragmentation of care
- Improve health outcomes and optimise the patient experience
- Increase efficiency delivering more for less.
Wirral Health Partners now also includes the expertise of Cerner (the global organisation behind the patient records system at Wirral University Teaching Hospital) and the Kings Fund (a charity that shapes health and social care policy and practice in England).
Dr Naylor added:
“This approach is all about improving the quality of care and overall patient experience.
“The public wants to see value for money, but at the same time a future proof NHS.
“I believe Wirral Health Partners will be able to deliver this by working ever more closely with our clinicians, but also capitalising on state-of-the-art clinical technology which we already have rolled out in our acute Wirral hospitals. Technology also plays a huge part in primary care with almost each practice on Wirral now operating from the same healthcare platform.”
Wirral Health Partners will see care being entirely joined-up, and will focus on fitting around the needs of each individual patient. It will involve a smooth, integrated pathway of care across the NHS from the cradle to the grave, and will mean all partners working together to deliver what will increasingly feel like, a coherent, more simplified service.
It is one of 29 ‘vanguard’ sites chosen today by NHS England and is part of an overall £200 million transformation fund.
From April 2015, the national NHS will work with the piloting sites to develop dedicated support packages to enable and accelerate change, and an intensive evaluation programme will seek evidence on what works so this can be spread to other parts of the country.
Notes to editors:
*Wirral Health Partners comprises of:
- Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (cornerstone partner in the delivery of home facing specialist acute care)
- Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (cornerstone partner in the delivery of reformed commissioning, contracting and payment models and GP member lead organisation)
- Wirral Community NHS Trust (cornerstone partner in the delivery of integrated community services)
- Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (cornerstone partner in the delivery of integrated mental health services)
- Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council (cornerstone partner in the delivery of integrated social care services and reformed commissioning, contracting and payment models)
- Cerner UK Ltdand partners (cornerstone partner in the delivery of informatics solutions and promotion population health management)
- King’s Fund (cornerstone partner in the delivery of research, learning, evaluation and dissemination)
Wirral Health Partners covers the Wirral health and social care economy.
Wirral Health Partners will accelerate a new model of integrated care across primary and secondary care providers, supported by a technology enabled population health model.
Integrated care teams will be expanded to reduce readmissions and support people to remain at home through primary/secondary care collaboration. Gaps in care will be identified through a proactive surveillance mechanism to identify patient needs in real time. They will test a capitated budget approach for targeting population segments across primary and acute care, with support from mental health and community providers. This will have the dual focus of reducing health inequalities, whilst achieving cost savings.