Joined Up Care Derbyshire Board – 17 September 2020
Future steps for Joined Up Care Derbyshire
In the first public Joined Up Care Derbyshire Board meeting in public since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, members took stock of the way in which Covid-19 has changed the way in which we make decisions and the priorities for the Derbyshire health and care system in the coming months and years.
The Board confirmed the drive to improve life expectancy and healthy life expectancy and to reduce the health inequalities that are driving these differences. There has been previous detailed work that had identified the main causes of ill health, the wider determinants that can affect people’s health, including housing, education, income and employment and the way the health and social care system can act as an ‘anchor’ organisation, where we can make an offer to broader partnerships to support their work on employment opportunities, staff wellbeing, the Derbyshire economy, the environment and supporting thriving communities.
The Board will continue this conversation to ensure we are correctly set up to operate and deliver these ambitions. Our application to become an Integrated Care System will be submitted in September, with a bid to operate in shadow from 1 November 2020. Whilst initially there will be relatively little change, over time our role as ICS will mature and ensure that we are effectively operating as a health and care system first and foremost, but making the connections we need with other agencies to support those broader priorities identified above.
One thing Covid-19 has helped streamline is the decision-making processes within our system. It has been proven that we can make decisions more quickly, with fewer steps to the governance process and by making decisions more closely to the front-line. The Board is clear that this learning must be captured and retained and our meetings and decision making processes will be streamlined accordingly.
Providing Services in Challenging Conditions
Covid-19 has brought the absolute best out in our staff, and everyone is very proud of the way teams have responded to the demands placed upon them by the pandemic. It is vital that as we manage the ongoing demands of the pandemic we take steps to restore those services which were stood down at the start of the pandemic to ensure we had capacity to treat people who have the Covid-19 infection.
All partners have been working on our restoration and recovery plan, which is the response to a number of objectives set by NHSE England/Improvement. This includes the recovery of our waiting times for operations and diagnostics, and our restoration of mental health, community health and primary care services. This is all being done in the context of an emerging comprehensive winter plan which seeks to ensure we have enough staff, beds and capacity in our community discharge pathways to manage the flow of patients throughout the challenging winter months, all with an eye of the possibility of an increase in new Covid-19 cases as the numbers of infections begin to rise in the community.
It is a very complex planning process which requires a fine balance between the three elements of recovery, winter and Covid-19. The outcomes will also require a significant communications programme with our local patients, as well as staff and other stakeholders, to help ensure everyone is clear on what services are available to meet their specific needs and to be flexible enough to respond to quick change should the pandemic have resurgence.