Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent ready to rise to NHS 10-year challenge

Together We’re Better, the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, has today committed to delivering the new NHS Long Term Plan.

The Plan was launched today. It sets out how the NHS needs to transform to provide high quality health and care services for the 2020s and beyond.

Many of the key themes of the plan are already being developed here in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

Simon Whitehouse, Together We’re Better Director, said: “The ambitions set out in the national plan are challenging but realistic and reaffirm our ambitions locally, while much of the work we have been doing as a health and care partnership over the past two years is reflected in the priorities set down nationally.

“This extra investment is very welcome news; however, we know that significant transformation will still be needed to deliver clinical and financial sustainability.

“Each of our partners is as committed as I am to get this right for the people of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. As we prepare for what will be an incredibly busy year of public and staff engagement, we will continue to work closely as a partnership to meet the challenges we face in order to ensure local people can start well, live well and age well.”

Marcus Warnes, Accountable Officer from the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “It is especially welcome that for the first time in the 70 year history of the NHS investment in community services and GP services is planned to grow at a faster rate than the overall NHS budget.

“Integrated care teams that work in the community and join up care for long-term conditions, mental health services and social care services are how the NHS and its partners can adapt to meet the rising growth in demand. This is the way we can plan and deliver services which meet the needs of their communities.”

Here are some examples of how changes are happening in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

Enhanced Primary and Community Care

The Long Term Plan puts an emphasis on better and more joined up services in the community.

Integrated Care Teams will play a key part in keeping people healthy. More people are living for longer, and living with complex health conditions.

Integrated Care Teams will help support these patients while they live at home. It will bring together specialists with a variety of skills from health and social care to plan care based on keeping patients as independent as possible and reducing unnecessary hospital admissions.

Four Integrated Care Teams were launched in 2018 in Longton/Meir, Leek/Biddulph, Lichfield/Burntwood and Stafford. A consultation on the future of health services in North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent which features proposals for greater integrated care is taking place until March 17.

Prevention and self-care

Prevention is and always has been better than cure. That is why we are prioritising screening programmes that help detect health issues as soon as possible.

GPs are working hard to increase cancer screening and improve access to follow-ups for patients.

More people who are at risk of getting diabetes are being identified. This can prevent them becoming diabetic by simple alterations to their lifestyle. Where patients are diagnosed with diabetes they can often manage it effectively with some specialist support.

In Newcastle, Eccleshall and Cannock patients with musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis and chronic back pain now have a specialist to advise them and help them to get the most appropriate care.

And over 100 Everyone Health Staffordshire clinics supporting over 50s with healthy lifestyle support and advice have been set up.

Mental Health

People experiencing mental health difficulties need services they can access when they need them and close to where they live.

Mental health needs to be as important as physical health for people of all ages. That is why there is now a commitment for services for children and adolescents (known as CAMHS) to be available seven days per week for the first time.

A new psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) has opened in North Staffordshire, meaning people won’t need to leave the area to get high-quality specialist support.

We want to improve access to help for people with eating disorders and to make sure as many mental health services as possible are available 24/7.

Planned care

Most people who need treatment are not emergencies so their care can be planned in advance.

We want to make this available seven-days-per-week. We also want this care to be available as close to where people live as possible, so that people can receive care that has been only available by going to hospital available in community settings.