Improving the future of health and care

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A big ambition to make Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly healthier, more caring, and better connected has been agreed by leaders and representatives of 75 organisations involved in health and care. 

They met last week to agree a joint commitment and have asked the public to “Judge us not by what we say, but what we do!”

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly continue to face unprecedented demands on health and care services and the vow to be more collaborative and open was agreed in the same week NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care Board was launched, formally incorporating both health and local authority care partners.

Voluntary organisations, public health, patient groups and watchdog Healthwatch Cornwall were included among the representatives who spent 2 days agreeing their shared priorities and objectives and discussing how they could work better together at an event called True North.

“After meeting around 100 partners from the Third sector at an event hosted by Cornwall Voluntary Sector Forum, and then 2 days of another 100 partners at the True North event, I felt inspired that we gained so much agreement so quickly and it felt like a new start for our ICS. We collectively reached common ground over our integrated care system aim of having “connected, healthy, and creating caring communities for one and all.”

John Govett, chairman of NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care Board

“There were many open and honest conversations about the challenges we face, but we could all see tremendous opportunities too about how we could better support our patients and each other to make our communities healthier and happier. It’s not going to be easy, but we want each patient to feel they are at the centre of their care and that everyone involved in providing services is working together – including the wonderful voluntary sector that numbers more than 5,700 different organisations in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.”

Kate Shields, chief executive of Cornwall and Isles of Scilly’s Integrated Care Board

“The VCSE sector is well placed to make a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of our people and communities within Cornwall and Isles of Scilly.  We are delighted to see this contribution and the significant value that the VCSE brings being recognised and resourced and we are looking forward to working in a more integrated way with our ICS partners having a one plan approach moving forward.”

Helen Ball, chief executive officer of Cornwall Voluntary Sector Forum

With a wide breadth of health and care organisations, it was agreed that instead of multiple individual plans and strategies there should be a 1 team, and 1 plan approach, sharing information, including digital data and innovations to improve physical and mental health.  This will help highlight Inefficiencies to make sure money is spent on pursuing the key aim to support communities to stay as healthy and active as possible. 

“We were pleased to be at the True North event and had the opportunity to discuss the real issues facing health and social care in Cornwall with volunteers and professionals best placed to influence outcomes.  Our honest exchange about the need for good community and residential care in Cornwall to alleviate the situation of ambulances queuing and the emergency department being unable to move people into the care they require was valuable.

“We discussed the large number of people in RCHT awaiting home or community care and colleagues recognised the need rapidly to effect change within the system.  It was very pleasing to have what I hope to be the first of many wide-ranging conversations.”

Dr Mairi Mclean, chairwoman at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

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