Below is an overview of some of the things that have been happening over recent months and a forward look at some upcoming events involving ICPs:
ICP partnership committee meetings were held throughout December and January. An important step forward was taken with the election of Chairpersons to most of the committees. Those elected to date include GPs, a pharmacist, a service user and a third sector representative.
The role of chairperson is central to supporting all members to work together effectively and to promoting the delivery of more joined up care. The chairperson will provide leadership to the Partnership Committee to ensure the Committee’s role is effectively fulfilled.
Members of the 17 Integrated Care Partnerships had an opportunity to participate in a masterclass with visiting experts from New Zealand on 14 March. Professor Harold Rea, based at the South Auckland Clinical School, shared his expertise in integrated care from his perspective as a respiratory physician and clinical researcher.
Ben Hefford, Director of Primary Care and Community Health Services at Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB) shared his experiences of implementing a “whole of system change approach” including transformation of infrastructures to align with integrated care; contracts, workforce planning and IT.
New Zealand is recognised as one of the world leaders in the delivery of integrated care and the masterclass was a key learning opportunity for all those involved in the delivery of integrated models of health and social care.
Understanding patient pathways of care
Valuable discussions, connections and plans are being made through the multi-disciplinary working groups, which have been established and are focusing on the clinical priority areas: frail elderly, respiratory, diabetes and stroke. Gathering information from all the relevant professionals and care providers and from patients and carers experiences is allowing the full pathway of care to be understood from prevention through to end of life.
This is a vital step to making the care more joined up and to agreeing where improvements can be made so that the patient experience is the best it can be.
This work is nearing completion and all groups will be making recommendations for change which each ICP will review and take action to implement.
The second meeting of the ICP Stakeholder Reference Group was held on 27 January. This group is facilitating engagement between ICPs and a wide range of external stakeholders, including professional bodies and the voluntary and community sectors.
CO3 and the Long Term Conditions Alliance NI hosted a workshop for ICP third sector representatives on 9 December. Useful discussion took place at the event and consideration is now being given to the support the Health and Social Care Board can offer to voluntary and community sector representatives in carrying out their roles.
The work of ICPs includes supporting proactive case management and targeting care to those most in need, this is being made possible through a primary care enhanced service for risk stratification.
90% of GP practices in Northern Ireland have signed up to deliver this service and throughout February, Dr Brendan O’Brien, Chair of the Regional Risk Stratification Group (a sub group of the ICP Project Team) delivered eleven GP practice training sessions to support GP practices in identifying their patients who would most benefit from case management.
This service will mean more joined up and person centred care for those patients who are most at risk of deterioration.
The second session of the ICP Clinical Leadership Programme took place on 21 February at Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast.
The programme facilitated by the HSC Leadership Centre is supporting ICP leaders in their roles to deliver more integrated working and improved patient experience. It comprises a seven day programme between November 2013 and September 2014 with approximately 50 participants including GPs, community pharmacists and hospital consultants.
Key presentations included best practice ideas in health innovation from Spain’s Basque region shared by Dr Rafael Bengoa, former Minister for Health in the Basque Region and Josep Carbo from management consultants, Accenture Europe.
‘Better together’ was the theme of this year’s NICON conference which took place on 5 & 6 March at which there was a great level of interest in ICPs as a key means of collaboration.
Dr Paul Molloy, GP Lead and Chairperson for the Western ICP (Northern sector) and Albert Clyde, service user representative and Chairperson of the Causeway ICP joined Pamela McCreedy, Director of Transforming Your Care to give their perspectives on work underway within Integrated Care Partnerships.
Dr Molloy emphasised the importance of good working relationships in allowing progress to be made in the West and Albert Clyde highlighted the need to support service users and carers in their roles within ICPs and also to spread the message about what ICPs are and how they can deliver an improved experience for service users and carers.
Dr Sloan Harper, HSCB Director of Integrated Care; Martin Hayes, ICP Project Director; and Dr Grainne Bonnar, GP lead and chairperson for West Belfast ICP were hosts of a very popular ‘café conversation’. This was a great opportunity to increase awareness and stimulate debate and discussion among conference attendees.