South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System (ICS) has unveiled plans to significantly invest and improve healthcare for local people – including aims to significantly reduce the number of preventable deaths and illness that are caused by smoking, obesity and mental illness.
The South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Five Year Plan outlines the key areas where £129 million of new indicative funding will be concentrated to address significant healthcare challenges and inequalities in the region.
Healthy life expectancy is lower in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw compared to the national average, and there are high levels of the common causes of disability and death including smoking, obesity, physical inactivity and hospital admissions due to alcohol. The Five Year Plan aims to address these issues by tackling the ‘burden of illness’ where it can be prevented from occurring in the first place.
Highlights from the Five Year Plan include new funding for more urgent treatment centres; improved community-based services to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions; investment in digital systems to enhance patient accessibility to online appointments and working more closely with community-based institutions like schools to teach children about good mental health.
Key priorities of the Five Year Plan are to:
- Reduce the number of deaths and preventable harm from smoking, alcohol, obesity and mental illness, including suicide.
- Improve care for people with respiratory illnesses, heart disease and learning disabilities.
- Decrease the number of unnecessary urgent hospital admissions by delivering more community care in the home, utilising paramedics and alternative services to provide healthcare when and where it matters.
- Support older people to stay well through supporting carers and trialling new technology to deliver online healthcare appointments – preventing falls in the home, care homes and hospitals.
- Provide community-based mental health care to support children in schools and adults with complex mental illness to get back, and remain, in work.
- Invest in confidential and secure digital technology to support patients through online appointment bookings, viewing of their own heath records and access to video GP appointments.
- Work in partnership across the 30 Primary Care Networks (PCNs) in the region, ensuring NHS services continue to join-up and offer the best healthcare solutions to patients in their neighbourhoods.
- Invest in flexible workforce schemes, such as a system-wide nursing bank, to ensure improved mobility of staff to work where they are needed.
Engagement with the public and a range of partners including NHS hospitals, mental health and social care trusts and clinical commissioning groups, and local councils across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw took place to ensure key healthcare priorities were addressed in the new Plan.
Building on the nationwide NHS Long Term Plan (2019), the outcome from the engagement has enabled the ICS to formulate an achievable and costed Five Year Plan for South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.
The SYB ICS was set up initially as a ‘Sustainability and Transformation Partnership’ in October 2016 to modernise and improve the way health, social care, local authorities and the third sector across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw work together to provide healthcare for the 21st century. Since 2016, the ICS has secured a total of £129 million, which has enabled it to progress with a number of schemes and initiatives to improve regional healthcare services. A further £129 million, which is detailed in the Five Year Plan, is secured for transformation schemes.
Sir Andrew Cash, Chief Executive Lead of the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw ICS, outlines how these mature partnership relationships and alliances have shaped the developments already in place. He said: “As a South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw region we have joined forces to work as a system where it makes sense to do so and where it makes a real difference to patients, staff and the public.
“Our pledges in 2016 were to give people more options for care while joining it up for them in their neighbourhood, help them to stay healthy, tackle health inequalities, improve quality, access and outcomes of care, address workforce pressures and introduce new technologies. We paid particular attention to cancer, mental health and primary care, and the two key enablers of workforce and digital technology.
“Our 2019 Plan builds on these but it also focuses on children’s health, cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, diabetes, learning disabilities and autism. It takes forward the work to strengthen primary and community-based care and as a result of the review of hospital services across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, the development of Hospital Hosted Networks.
“Through our partnership working with Local Authorities, the Sheffield City Region, leading universities and world-class institutions we want to continue to influence and contribute to the development and implementation of a wide range of local ‘Place’ based strategies that are tackling the wider determinants of health, such as inclusive growth plans, housing, transport employment and thriving communities. At the same time, we want to ensure that all our local communities have equitable access to a full range of health and care services.
“Our new five year plan recommits our ambition for everyone in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw to have a great start in life, supporting them to be healthy and live longer, while aiming to be the best delivery and transformation System in the country”.