The founding principle of the ICS is that collective, partnership working can join up thinking and action to make change.
This is not August as we know it, in many respects. Its 30 degrees outside as I write this blog.
For our health and care services providers, August feels more like January, and this leads us to ‘dread’ the coming winter and the additional pressures we know this can bring.
We are all aware that every element of our system is stretched, from our ambulance services, to residential and care home provision, from the front door of our acute hospitals to dentists and opticians in communities. We also know that our stretched system can’t provide the quality of care we aspire to deliver to patients and service users.
Yesterday Teresa Fenech, Executive Director of Nursing and Quality in the ICS, called a summit attended by more than 100 senior leaders from across health and social care in our system.
Crucially this summit was not focussed on ‘talking’ about the problem, but was instead focussed on working together, as a system to find solutions and agree actions, together. The founding principle of the ICS is that collective, partnership working (not just primary care and acute hospitals, but the third sector, local government, ambulance services, mental health services and community services) can join up thinking and action to make change, and that this change must be transformational and sometimes brave.
The summit gave us all an opportunity to think like a whole system, to feel like a whole system, and to agree actions which only the whole system can enact.
Collectively we are responsible for finding practical solutions to the multiple issues we face and by following through on the actions identified yesterday, we can.