Agenda item

    Together We're Better (TWB) Consultation

    Presentation by TWB


    The Committee received a presentation from the Director of the Together We’re Better (TWB) programme, Simon Whitehouse.


    Mr Whitehouse reported that the TWB was the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and was comprised of NHS, GGC and higher tier Local Authorities.  He also reported that the objective of TWB was to drive innovation to improve health, provide better care and lower costs.


    Mr Whitehouse reported on what had already happened including the Frailty Hub which began in Lichfield and would be rolled out across the county. Members noted that the hub supported families not just patients and dealt with access to information and support being provided.


    GP access and proposed integrated care teams were then discussed and Mr Whitehouse reported that this work had begun and it would allow for residents to access care like physiotherapy immediately without the need of a GP referral.  It was asked if District Nursing would be included in this approach and it was reported that they would be and staffing levels were being worked through.  Members also asked how this approach would work with single GP practices and it was reported that the contracts were being updated to include incentives to work with partners and build those relationships.  Deliverability of integrated care teams was questioned by Members specifically whether there would be enough staff to create these teams or if there would be a shortage.  It was reported that the ideal number of staff was known but it would take time to get everything and everyone in place.  It was agreed that navigating the current system of referrals was not user friendly for patients and integrated care would help this.  It was also agreed that this would require a culture change for care providers along with a breakdown in organisational barriers.


    Funding was discussed and it was asked what avenues there were.  It was reported that TWB was not statutory so could not get funding directly but could access it through the STP on a national level.  It was noted that although more funding had been secured nationally through the new settlement, it was intended to create a 4% saving through identifying efficiencies and joining priority areas.


    The longer term plans were presented to the Committee including the response timescales and it was noted that a local input was vital for the refresh of the five year strategic plan and it was agreed the Committee could help TWB when appropriate.


    The five system priorities were discussed and there was some concern that not much work had been identified for mental health.  Members agreed that care closer to home should be considered significantly for Lichfield especially with the temporary closure of George Bryan centre as that meant there was no mental health facility in the area.  It was noted that any permanent plan for the George Bryan centre would be subject to consultation.


    There was some concern that the priorities were not of a preventative nature and it would be this that would lead to healthier communities, less strain on the care system and overall savings.  It was agreed that more conversations were needed especially with local authorities regarding delivering health and wellbeing strategies.  The Chairman reported that the County Council’s Health Select Committee Chairman was writing to the government to state the importance of considering health implications in the planning process.


    The wider pre-consultation was discussed and it was noted that it would be to get views on what was or wasn’t currently working and not on specific plans. The Committee asked how the public would be made aware of consultation events and Mr Whitehouse reported that he would like help from authorities to do this so it was agreed that TWB would give the Committee their location timetable and Members would pass back through the Chairman and Officers their ideas for engaging with the public and any names of organisations that could aid TWB.


    Mr Whitehouse was thanked for his presentation and attending the meeting.  Mr Whitehouse reported that he would be happy to return to the Committee in the future to discuss specific aspects of the programme.


    RESOLVED:  That the information received be noted and ideas for effective engagement between the TWB and residents be passed to the Chairman and Officers.


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