Agenda item

North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System Update

To receive a presentation and consider a report by the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System Convenor (copy enclosed).



The Board received an update on the North East and North Cumbria (NENC) Integrated Care System (ICS).  It was explained the ICS for NENC was approved as part of the ICS third wave in June 2019 and, although it was geographically the largest in England, its population size of 3.1 million was similar to other ICSs in the North of England.  Members noted there were now 42 Partnerships including 14 ICS areas with the remainder expected to be in place by next year.


Members received a presentation which highlighted that ill health contributed to worklessness, poorer productivity and lower economic growth which impacted the health, wealth and wellbeing of the population.  It was explained that the health and care cycle was driven by poorer population health as a starting point which led to an over?dependence and over utilisation of the hospital sector, and funding being drawn away from investment in prevention which stopped the causes of poor health being addressed. 


The Board was informed of the longstanding positive and effective clinical networking between the North East and Cumbria which included Cumbrian patients accessing specialist hospital services in the North East, visiting consultants and specialist nurses who had helped to develop the local staff in Cumbria, access to the Great North Children’s Hospitals, support in haematology supported by digital sharing of blood films and the digitisation of radiology images which would enable North East NHS radiologists to support Cumbria and avoid the need to rely on private providers.


Members were informed that Newcastle University arranged placements for undergraduate medical students in Cumbria, the Northern Deanery hosted two GP training programmes in Cumbria and pressures on elective care in Cumbria had been supported from Newcastle and Northumbria. 


Officers felt that all of those initiatives improved access for Cumbrian patients and enabled medical staff to work in a wider network, providing peer support and maintaining proficiency. 


The Board was informed that the aim of the ICS and the four Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) was to work as part of a broad regional partnership to realise a shared vision to improve the health and wellbeing of the people who lived in the area, substantially reduce health inequalities and improve the quality of their health and care services.  It was emphasised that in working together as a system, the ICS would always place the people it served, and the communities in which they lived, at the centre of decision-making.


In conclusion officers highlighted the importance, as a region, to take full advantage of the current opportunity to shape future partnership arrangements to secure the benefits of collaboration.


Members welcomed the report and the development and increase in production through closer working relationships.  It was emphasised that despite the challenges a very strong partnership had developed over the last 2/3 years to deliver outcomes, highlighting that characteristics and style partnership functions were critical to making this meaningful.


During the course of discussion attention was drawn to the early interventions taking place in Barrow and the ambition for Lancashire and South Cumbria to work in a similar way.


The Board discussed the next steps which included the establishment of an ICS Partnership body and governance framework with an openly appointed Independent Chair, comprising representation from the partners within the four ICP areas.  It was explained this would provide a strategic view on issues where working at scale made sense and added value, shaping and endorsing strategic priorities so that local plans were complemented by a common vision and a shared plan for the North East and North Cumbria as a whole.  The Board emphasised the importance of clarity on decision?making and governance.


The Chair, on behalf of the Board, welcomed the report and invited a further discussion at a future meeting.


RESOLVED,     that the report be noted.


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