Our integrated care system

Whole system overview image.pngAn integrated care system is when all organisations involved in health and social care work together in different, more joined-up ways.

The focus is on providing care in a way that benefits patients - not what is easiest for organisations.

From family doctors, to mental health staff, community teams and our major hospitals, we’re going to be pooling our resources, skills and expertise to make care and support better for our residents.

In Kent and Medway all the NHS organisations and the Kent and Medway councils have been working together as a sustainability and transformation partnership since 2016. During 2020/21 this joint working will be developed further to establish an integrated care system.

  1. Forty two primary care networks across Kent and Medway. A primary care network (PCN) consists of groups of general practices working together, and in partnership with community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services in their local area, to offer more personalised, coordinated health and social care to the people living in their area. 
  2. Four integrated care partnerships drawing together all provider NHS organisations in a given area and working more closely with social care.
  3. a single commissioning group for Kent and Medway, led by local doctors, to take a bird’s eye view and look at where we can tackle shared challenges together such as cancer and mental health.

The number of people living in Kent and Medway is predicted to rise by almost a quarter by 2031.

We spend just £86m (2%) of our budget supporting people to stay well and prevent illness, compared to £3.4 billion treating ill-health.

Over 528,000 people - that’s almost one in three - live with one or more significant long-term health conditions, including around 12,000 with dementia.

People with a serious mental illness die on average 15 to 20 years earlier than the general population.

If staffing was in line with the national average, there would be 175 more GPs in Kent and Medway. Over half our practice nurses could retire in 10 years.

Evidence shows, every day, about 1,000 people in Kent and Medway are in a hospital bed when they no longer need to be.

  • More support to stay fit and well before things become a problem.
  • Better access to the care you need, when you need it, in a way that suits you: evenings, weekends, over the phone, by video link or face-to-face with a physio, nurse, clinical pharmacist, GP, or support from a non-medical service.
  • More focus on your physical and mental health and wellbeing – on what matters to you, not the condition or disease that you may have.
  • More care out-of-hospital, with staff working together as a single team across organisations to help people stay as well as possible and get the care they need when they need it.
  • Better identification of the issues that need tackling and a real focus on quality services, wherever they are provided.

  • Higher job satisfaction as working in teams is less isolated and more rewarding.
  • Better work/life balance with each professional able to focus on what they do best.
  • Greater resilience and less risk of burnout.
  • Greater influence on how resources are used to best effect for patients.

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