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Stephen Barnett

Update for Members from Stephen Barnett – September 2022

We have our next quarterly meeting on Thu 24th Nov with Javed Khan OBE, Chair of the Integrated Care Board.

There is a lot happening right now in the ICB, ICP and ICS world, so much in fact that it’s hard to keep up and keep you informed. So bear with me for dashing off this blog in a rush. One piece of additional information is that the CEO, James Kent, has resigned (ICB Website) to take up a position with NHS England and there will be a new interim CEO soon.

Intergrated Care Partnership (ICP) Updates

The ICP board will have its first meeting on 28th October. This is the forum where the NHS, local authorities and others come together to begin to set direction towards an integrated care system. Our Health Alliance Chair William Butler will be there along with the Healthwatch organisations in BOB and NHS providers.

The ICP has a duty to produce an integrated care strategy by the end of the year. This has led to some fast and furious meetings to identify priorities for ICS-level joint working.

The Health Alliance has been represented in meetings on Start Well, Live Well and Ageing Well (life-cycle approach) as well as on Healthy Behaviours. These have tended to be public health-led and focus on prevention in the sense of screening and primary care rather than through non-medical community working.

Our Sub Groups

I’ve been able to share some specific messages from our Alliance subgroups on learning disabilities and autism, mental health, ageing and others. Yesterday I was able to bring two VCSE leaders into the Ageing Well strategy group. However, it strikes me that the most significant is just making the voluntary sector visible and reminding health care leaders that we’re there!

Innovative Approaches

In the meantime I am becoming more aware of the promising practices as well as the difficulties, for example, Headway Oxfordshire has embedded its Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) navigators in the specialist neurology ward in Oxford to support and advise people with ABI and their family. I’ve also visited the community benefit society Flo’s Café in Oxford along with Margaret Batty, who is an NHS non-executive director for BOB. At Flo’s, community midwives are based and charity staff meet up with service users in a non-clinical community environment.

It is important to understand that the integrated care strategy does not itself have a budget. Instead, it is designed to influence the partners in health and social care planning in 2023. So the wins from this will be slow burns.

As I read it, the ICB Board (i.e. the NHS bit of the system) accepts that they’re not where they’d like to be in terms of voluntary sector relations and commissioning. However, I take it as a positive sign that senior ICB leaders are willing to talk and hear critical voices demanding better engagement in the interests of citizens, patients, and service users.

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