What will be the future role for the voluntary and community sector in integrated care in Dudley borough?

What is integrated care?
Integrated Care means care and support built around the needs of the individual, their carers and family. It aims to achieve high quality and compassionate care, resulting in better health and wellbeing of citizens in Dudley borough. Integrated care will mean getting better at preventing deterioration of health and fewer people ending up in hospital, by providing a seamless service focussed on the individual within their own homes.

There is a need to create a culture of better cooperation and coordination between health, social care, public health, other local services and the voluntary and community sector. There needs to be an end to institutional divide between physical and mental health, primary and secondary care, and health and social care as budgets and resources reduce.

What will integrated care mean in Dudley borough?
There will be a Rapid Response Team which will provide outreach medical services. In many cases certain treatments that are currently provided in hospitals could be outsourced eg administering antibiotics intravenously. These types of treatments could be provided outside of hospitals. The Rapid Response Teams will be made up of qualified medical practitioners that will be able to provide such types of treatments in the community to reduce pressure on A&E and other hospital departments. Following this, there will be five locality integrated multi-disciplinary teams made up of a:

• Community nurse,
• Mental health link worker,
• Practice based pharmacist,
• Social care link worker,
• Community Rapid Response Team representative,
• Virtual Ward representative,
• Voluntary sector locality link development officer, employed by Dudley CVS, and
• Advanced health practitioner.

They will be led by a GP Clinical Leader.

Under the direction of the GP, the team will have responsibility for serving the same group of patients, holding regular meetings, reviewing key performance data and providing reports to Dudley CCG. Teams will also ensure that pathways from practice to locality and to services across the borough function effectively.

So what will integrated care mean for the voluntary and community sector?
Dudley CVS and Dudley CCG co-hosted an event on 30th April to enable the voluntary and community sector to explore its potential role in integrated care.

Outcomes from the event highlighted that the voluntary and community sector offers a diverse range of preventative services and has an abundance of knowledge about local needs. However, there is a general lack of knowledge about what the voluntary sector has to offer to health services in terms of options for non-medical interventions. Health practitioners will need to be more aware of voluntary sector services. There will be a need for innovative ways of working which will be underpinned by a collaborative cross-sector ethos that ultimately achieves better health and wellbeing outcomes for residents of Dudley borough.

Moving forward with integrated care will mean that the voluntary and community sector will need to demonstrate the quality of its services and measure social value. There will be a need to effectively share and communicate information about what the sector offers and can offer with health professionals. The voluntary sector will need to look at change and a new way of working, for example, reducing dependency on services and working more holistically with people who use services through collaboration between service providers. There will be a need to network effectively and where possible find new and creative ways of meeting needs and finding ways of increasing their own capacity to address rising demand for non-medical service provision in a climate of reduced funding.

The event gave the opportunity for voluntary and community organisations to share their ideas about what support they feel they need to ensure that the sector is viewed as a credible, valued and equal partner in integrated care. These discussions highlighted a need for support in enabling and supporting the sector to network, collaborate and communicate what they do – a thread to pull it all together and help broker possible solutions that unleash creativity and innovation.

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