Hackney health and social care devolution pilot approved
Hackney’s bid to become a health and social care devolution pilot area has been approved by government.
The announcement today, Tuesday 15 December, that Hackney will become one of five pilot areas in London, follows the successful submission of a joint proposal and statement of commitment backed by ten of the borough’s key health and social care providers and commissioners.
Hackney Council, City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group, Homerton University Hospital Foundation Trust, East London Foundation Trust, City and Hackney GP Confederation, City and Hackney Urgent Healthcare Social Enterprise, City and Hackney Pharmaceutical Committee, Healthwatch and the Health and Social Care Forum which reflects the committment of many voluntary and community organisations, have all signed up to the initiative.
The proposal sets out a shared vision of delivering an integrated, effective and financially sustainable system that covers the whole range of wellbeing - from public health initiatives for school children, timely and appropriate access to GPs and community pharmacists, and top quality hospital treatment, to excellent mental health services and supporting people to remain independent in their community for as long as possible. Examples of how this new model could benefit residents include:
- Giving parents easier access to immunisations for very young children by providing more community-based services
- Tackling obesity through better co-ordinated services and greater local powers to create a healthy environment
- Quicker progress towards parity of mental health and physical healthcare services
- Providing tailored, more integrated support for people at the end of their life
It is also envisaged that a fully integrated model could create more incentives for prevention and early intervention, more proactive primary care, better access to services in the community rather than in hospital, and the creation of high-quality alternatives to hospital-based and residential treatment.
We already have a good track record of working together on health in Hackney and we are one of the few areas in London delivering on performance targets and able to invest in new services. However, Hackney is a rapidly changing borough and we still face significant health inequalities.
To varying degrees, our organisations are experiencing significant funding pressures, which have placed our health and social care services under immense strain and we know there are more to funding cuts to come. In that context, it's our responsibility to make sure the resources we do have are used in the most effective way for the residents we serve.
That is why we wanted to become a local devolution pilot and it’s great news that our bid has been approved. We believe the additional powers and resources this could unlock offer the best chance to further develop integrated health and social care services to make the most of every pound we get and help realise on our shared vision for Hackney.
We are still shaping our plans, and throughout this process we will continue to fully involve the public, service users and patients, carers, the voluntary and community sector, and health and social care professionals in designing the new model and the services within it.
Alistair Wallace, Chair, Heath and Social Care Forum said: “"We are pleased that the important contribution of the voluntary sector has been recognised in this proposal and it gives us all the opportunity to ensure effective integration of services that will also match the needs of Hackney's diverse community."
Jake Ferguson, CEO, Hackney CVS said: “Devolution offers an opportunity to improve the way services are commissioned and provided as long as the voice of service users and Hackney residents are at the centre of the decision making process.”
Healthwatch Hackney's Chair Paul Fleming explained that ''for devolution to work in Hackney it is absolutely vital the views of residents are central to how future health and social care services could be designed, delivered and improved upon. Healthwatch Hackney now expects a significant engagement programme with the public to make this happen. We will play our full part in this and welcomes any comments and thoughts from the general public’'
The decision to put forward a bid was made after central government widened its devolution aspirations to include health and social care in some areas, giving local providers more decision-making powers and control over financial models.
Hackney residents will be able to hear more about the proposals at a joint commissioning intentions event being held in February