Ann James CEO University Hospitals Plymouth (UHP)
“We are committed to providing excellent care with compassion wrapped around people’s individual needs.
Michelle Thomas CEO Livewell Southwest
This is our first quarterly joint newsletter as University Hospitals Plymouth (UHP) and Livewell Southwest (LSW) coming together as allies in the Integrated Care Partnership (ICP).
It follows on from the survey we shared with you towards the end of last year, where we shared a brief reminder about the ICP and its rationale before asking you three key questions:
- In terms of health and social care locally, what matters to you and what three things should we be focusing on?
- Which areas would you most like to work with us on?
- How would you like us to engage with you?
We had some fantastic feedback from many of you, and the top three things you told us you wanted to work with the ICP on were: supporting people to stay independent for longer, community care and mental health.This newsletter is one of the ways we’re committed to engaging with you on the ICP, keeping you updated on the partnership and keeping you informed of upcoming opportunities.
Throughout the health and care system we are witnessing the advantages of closer working between providers for the benefit of patients. Here in Plymouth, South Hams and West Devon, we are cementing this approach with our Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) to improve the care and experience of the people we serve.
We are working together to better support people using our services to get the right care at the right time in the right place.This will particularly support the people whose care currently falls across existing organisational boundaries and more intensive users of services who are often frail or vulnerable and have complex needs. Our intention is that services are always evolving, always more effective, always more sustainable.
We are working diligently to formalise the partnership and details around the timeline will be finalised in due course but we hope to formally launch in the summer of 2021.Nonetheless, even without this formality in place we are already working together very closely and have been since 2019 when we signed a Memorandum of Understanding setting out a commitment for the two organisations to work in collaboration and support each other.
This collective platform is an opportunity to share with you how we are already making an impact by working together, what we will be focusing on in the coming months and also to tell you a little bit more about some of the individuals that are integral to the partnerships fantastic achievements and intentions.
COVID has been the catalyst which has accelerated our approach to joint working. We are already working well as a partnership which has been embodied in the success of our COVID vaccination clinics.
Sue Wilkins, Director of Mass Vaccination and Testing for UHP said: “Bringing together the most amazing team of colleagues from UHP, Livewell, the voluntary sector and ex NHS staff has made it 'a pleasure' to lead on vaccination.
"The opportunity to work with so many people who are all, without exception, committed to ensuring we deliver a vaccination programme at pace to the local population is an absolute highlight of my career. There is no blueprint for doing this and brave decisions have had to be made at times, but I know every decision made is for the right reason. I am absolutely committed to doing everything we can to get vaccination into our local population as quickly as it is available to us."
Shona Cornish, Community Modern Matron for Livewell Southwest added; “I would agree with Sue in that this has been a real career high, I have to admit I was little apprehensive about the scale of the challenge but everyone involved has pulled together so well to make it work, it’s just been an absolute pleasure and I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved.”
What’s coming up?
The heart of the ICP and how it will practically make a difference for people is the reorganisation of how some of our services will be delivered. This has been pulled together into a new service model which is designed to deliver high-quality care, without barriers, which will better enable people to lead their lives independently and in good health.
The service model has many facets and is best described through the eyes of one our patients and a look at how their treatment pathway will flow under the new model.
This demonstrates how Edith’s care will be completely focused on what’s best for her, co-developed plans keeping her needs at the top of the list. The use of video consultation is hugely beneficial and already happening for thousands of consultations delivered by both UHP and LIvewell Southwest since the beginning of the pandemic. This is helping to maximise the time Edith spends at home or doing the things she enjoys rather than travelling to and from various clinical settings and navigating the risks these unnecessary journeys bring.
As part of our quarterly newsletter we want to bring attention to the inspiring people leading the changes.
Michelle Thomas is Chief Executive Officer at Livewell Southwest and responsible for aligning teams to work more closely and to respond to people’s needs, wants and strengths, making it easier for them to get the advice, support and care they need closer to home.
Michelle has always lived and worked in Plymouth. Her nursing career started in 1989, and she went on to gain additional qualifications in human resources and managed community services. Michelle is passionate about ensuring people are well-cared for in a setting that is right for them. She is also committed to developing an empowered, well-supported workforce.
She regularly volunteers on the Plymouth Soup Run, getting food to those currently experiencing homelessness and working to help those in the community receive the support they need at a time of vulnerability.
If you want to learn more about our ICP or have views to share you can email us at plh-tr.PlymouthIntegratedCare@nhs.net