Leading figures from the NHS have commended local health and social care organisations for the way they are working together to improve public services.
Sir Malcolm Grant, Chair of NHS England, and Baroness Dido Harding, Chair of NHS Improvement, visited the Frimley Health and Care System to hear how local organisations are joining forces with each other and local people.
The ‘Frimley System’ is one of the first health and care systems nationwide improving health and care services by removing the logistical and financial barriers between existing organisations, making them more patient and community-focused, productive and efficient.
Dido Harding said: “What has been hugely inspiring here in Frimley has been the collaborative leadership. We’ve heard time and again that everyone in the system is thinking and being encouraged to think about what’s right for their community and what’s right for their patients, regardless of which institution they’re part of.
“It’s people that make the NHS so brilliant and the people we’ve met are working collaboratively across the whole community in a way that’s incredibly grown up and respectful, tackling difficult issues and really improving things for people in the community as a result. It’s that underlying cultural leadership that is absolutely amazing to watch.”
Sir Malcolm Grant and Dido Harding met with Sir Andrew Morris, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Chief Executive, who will be stepping down next year to take up the leading role at the ACS.
They were also welcomed by other system leaders, including clinicians and NHS clinical commissioners from North East Hampshire and Farnham, Surrey Heath and East Berkshire, mental health and community service providers and local authority social care representatives. They discussed how NHS England and NHS Improvement can effectively support the ground-breaking changes.
Sir Malcolm said: “For me the standout issue has been moving away from institutions defining how healthcare is delivered; hospital trusts, GP practices, local government, all of them funded in different ways and accountable in different ways.
“Instead we can start to pool budgets and mould the funding and the care around the patient. We can then create a model which is much more based on the health of the population as a whole, rather than one that fixes and repairs ill-health once it’s already occurred.”
“This is an area that has had a longstanding history of cooperation, although I’ve really been surprised at how far that’s expanded in just the last two or three years.”