In 2016, NHS organisations and local councils came together to form 44 sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) covering the whole of England, and set out their proposals to improve health and care for patients.
In Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes, the partnership evolved to form an integrated care system, a new type of even closer collaboration. In an integrated care system, NHS organisations, in partnership with local councils and others, take collective responsibility for managing resources, delivering NHS standards, and improving the health of the population they serve. BLMK was one of the first ten ICSs and ICSs are the future. The Long Term Plan for the NHS calls for everywhere to have an ICS by 2021.
Local services can provide better and more joined-up care for patients when different organisations work together in this way. For staff, improved collaboration can help to make it easier to work with colleagues from other organisations. And systems can better understand data about local people’s health, allowing them to provide care that is tailored to individual needs.
By working alongside councils, and drawing on the expertise of others such as local charities and community groups, BLMK ICS can help local people to live healthier lives for longer, and to stay out of hospital when they do not need to be there.
In return, the BLMK leaders have greater freedoms to manage the operational and financial performance of services in their area.
Read more about the BLMK ICS five priorities here.