Sue Symington smiling and the text 'As I see it - the latest blog from Sue Symington'

The strength of partnerships working together to tackle NHS pressures

The extraordinary pressures the NHS and its partner organisations have felt over the last few months are unprecedented.

We have felt collectively ‘worried’ about the demand for health and care services, and ‘worried’ that, although our collective resources have been stretched to their limit, we have still not been able to deliver everything we want to, every time. This has been a test for our Integrated Care System (ICS) and a test for our partnerships. Ours is a new partnership, where sometimes we are still finding our way – adding to the testing environment.

Partnerships grow and thrive by taking collective responsibility, by resisting blaming others when things are difficult and by communicating, even when it would be easier in the short term to look the other way.

Even under the most extreme pressure, our partnership has sought to stick with those important partnership behaviours: facing into the issues together, listening to each other with the intention of understanding, supporting one another whenever its possible and sharing the responsibility even when that feels hard. Most importantly, recognising that we have a shared commitment, across all partners, to those we serve, our patients and service users, and staying true to that commitment.

These are achievements. We can be proud of our behaviours and our shared commitment, and we can build on this in the months ahead.

Sue Symington

Chair of the NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board and Chair of the Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Partnership