A united approach to improve services

Bringing organisations together will enable them to cooperate like never before, providing better care to individual people while also identifying and tackling areas of concern within communities.

Since 2017 the Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System (ICS) has been working as a collection of partner organisations to serve the 800,000 people living across East Berkshire, Surrey Heath and North East Hampshire and Farnham. In a significant change, on 1st July this year it will evolve to include new statutory constructs with legal responsibilities.

To make this happen, two key parts of the ICS will also launch: The Frimley Integrated Care Board (ICB) – which will include local authority representatives and will be responsible for planning NHS services, and; The Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) – responsible for other, non-NHS partners within the system, such as voluntary, community and independent providers.

Dr Priya Singh, Frimley ICB’s Chair, said: “Our health and care services are filled with amazing, selfless people who work extremely hard to look after local people, yet despite their efforts the demand for services continues to grow and grow.

“We know that in order to resolve this situation we need to fundamentally change the way we plan, fund and deliver services – and that’s what these important changes are all about.

“NHS services are going to be working more closely with each other, with local authorities, the voluntary sector and other partners. By pooling our skills, our knowledge and our resources we can transform the health and wellbeing of our communities, supporting residents to live longer, healthier, happier lives.”

The organisations within Frimley Health and Care have been working on shared ambitions for the health and wellbeing of the population, which are: giving all local children the best possible start in life; giving people the opportunity to lead healthier lives; agreeing with residents how to create healthier communities; making our system a great place to live and work; building collaboration into all levels of the system, and; using our resources in a way that we deliver the best possible care in an affordable way.

Fiona Edwards, Chief Executive of Frimley Health and Care ICS and of the ICB, said: “We want to improve the health of the whole population, and that means everyone, particularly those people who currently aren’t accessing services, for whatever reasons.

“We need to make sure that all local residents, no matter what their personal circumstances are, are not only able to access health and social care services and advice but are also confident in doing so.

“Health inequality has grown hugely during the pandemic. We’re working hard to tackle it and we look forward to working ever closer with local people and communities to reach everyone, so we can understand and meet their needs.”

The Frimley ICB will replace NHS Frimley Clinical Commissioning Group, which currently holds the responsibility for planning and funding the majority of health services delivered to patients. When the ICB is up and running a number of additional services, which have traditionally been managed directly by NHS England, will be transferred across to the new body, including: optometry and audiology (eye and ear services), dentistry and community pharmacy.