Why integrated health care is the way forward
Sunday 19th November 2017 @ 13:14 by Nigel Skinner
Ashton News Tameside

Leading NHS campaigner Dr Kailash Chand spotlights the merits of a new holistic approach an integrated health care system can bring – now underway in Tameside and Glossop.



Chair of Healthwatch Tameside Dr Kailash Chand OBE has heralded the benefits of an integrated health care system for the region.

“People who live in Tameside and Glossop are unhealthier for longer, and live shorter lives, than in many other areas of the country. This needs changing,” he states.

“The way we plan and deliver health and social care services in Tameside and Glossop needed changing.

“To meet these challenges Tameside and Glossop NHS  have successfully created a single health and care system,Tamesisde & Glossop integrated care organisation (T&G ICO) with strong GP and primary care engagement, and support of Tameside borough.

“By working together as a single system with the central belief of ‘one system, one budget’ they are working hard in moderating demand for hospital care.”

Under the new approach the Tameside & Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust becomes responsible for:

• Preventing illness and promoting health, increasing life expectancy,

• Supporting local people to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to self-care, diet and life style,

• Providing Social Care within a joined up health and social care system.

Dr Chand, former Deputy Chair of the BMA, added: “This will take time and investment in community-based services to support people to take more responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, and as far as possible to stay well in their own homes and community.

“I believe it is the right step in the right direction. This change reflects the changes happening to our population.

“We are generally living longer, our health is better thanks to the services we have available and we expect to live fulfilling lives into our old age.

“These positive changes mean that there is a need to design health and social care services in future to support people who are living with complex needs, many of whom are older.

“Integration is about making those changes and putting people and not services at the centre of our decisions.

“It aims to improve services, and to make them seamless and more responsive to the people who use them.

“Achieving  successful integrated care requires that those involved with planning, financing and providing services have a shared vision, employ a combination of processes and mechanisms, and ensure that the patient’s perspective remains a central organising principle throughout.

“There is no denying the fact that hospitals provide medical care that cannot be provided anywhere else.

“However, most of us will need care that can be provided in settings more appropriate to our individual needs and better placed to support our health and wellbeing.  Most of us would much rather receive support and care at home or in a homely setting when and if we need it.

“Integration aims to provide care in this way, built around the needs of the individual. Often this is not about medical needs – it can be about providing support to people to remain part of and connected to their families and communities, allowing people to carry on doing the things they love with a bit of extra help.

“Positive changes are already happening. Tameside & Glossop is leading the way in integrating health and social care in Greater Manchester.

“NHS England has provided a package of additional investment of almost £25 million in transitioning to this new approach.

“The money would be used to shift the balance of care towards prevention and support services to deliver improved outcomes for local communities.

“Also, to support Integration Authorities to reduce delayed discharges, including the development of a range of community based services like Intermediate Care Beds, re-ablement at home and other preventative services.

“Initial results are very encouraging, T&G ICO already have one of the best A&E performances in Greater Manchester, they have the fastest improving urgent care systems and an award winning truly preventative approach to community and place-based services.

“Significant investment, particularly in ill health prevention, and the removal of organisational boundaries are enabling innovation, providing a benchmark for others.

“Tameside & Glossop, is the home of radical forward thinking and we have a real job of work to do to change a 20th Century treatment service into a 21st Century health promotion service.

“We have the ability to be the pioneers of that paradigm shift. We could be exemplar not only for Greater Manchester, but England to truly deliver holistic care for our population.”

LAUNCH: The wraps came off the new name for the Trust last September.