Like many parts of country, our health and social care system can be complex and confusing. This is frustrating for local people. People’s needs are changing, we are living longer and many healthcare conditions are preventable, or can be delayed or managed easily with early intervention, lifestyle changes, and focusing on our own and our family’s health and wellbeing.
Demand for health and care is also rising, new advances in medicine can be expensive to deliver and many services are under a lot of pressure. This means having conversations with local people about improving their health and wellbeing within the resources available.
Acting on your feedback
When we have spoken to people in Lambeth about their experiences of health and social care they often tell us that the system is difficult to understand and they would like it to be easier.
While local residents get frustrated with this, so do staff. They tell us the way the system operates now can make their jobs more difficult and more stressful when people work for different organisation that work in different ways.
People in Lambeth also tell us that reducing inequalities, fairness, supporting the vulnerable and making sure no one is disadvantaged are all things that matter to them.
So, we have been thinking about how we could make the system simpler to make services easier to understand and get access to. We also think that reducing some of this complexity will improve the quality of care people receive and give them more choice and control.
Making services easier to use
We think one of the main reasons our health system is difficult to navigate is because it is fragmented. In other words, some services sit with one organisation, like the NHS; while other services sit with the local council or a voluntary organisation. In other words, there are lots of different organisations that local people need to use.
We have been taking a hard look at how the current health and system works and thinking about ways to make it less complicated for everyone involved.
We also know that many of the services that keep people well in our communities are not offered by formal health and social care organisations, like the NHS or local council – they are offered by the community and voluntary sectors. We recognise that these are a vital part of supporting people and keeping them well.
How the Alliance will work
The Alliance will change the way we deliver health and care services in Lambeth.
Services organised by neighbourhood
We will organise groups of services in 9 to 12 ‘neighbourhoods’ of Lambeth.
These services will include common public services, like:
- GP surgeries
- district nursing
- home care
These will work with services in the community, like:
- fitness classest
- therapeutic services
Services will not be organised to suit the organisation traditionally responsible for them – like the NHS or Lambeth Council – but to reflect the needs of local people.
Staff working in one way
Staff who have traditionally worked for different organisations will work more closely together to deliver services.
This will improve communication and reduce some of the bureaucracy.
The most important improvement we think this will lead to is better care and support for service users.
In the current system, different organisations control different budgets. For example, Lambeth Council is responsible for the adult social care budget.
Under this new Alliance system, various budgets will be brought together to create one pool of money. This makes planning for the future much simpler.
It also makes accountability simpler. Accountability means checking that the money is being spent well.
One set of priorities and aims
All the organisations within the Alliance will be working together towards the same aims.
This will be key to partnership working and making improvements.
It also allows us to measure the impact of the changes on local people and staff.