Buckinghamshire is a first-wave integrated care system (ICS) within Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Sustainability and Transformation Partnership.
Buckinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) provides leadership and vision for health, care and wellbeing, and has strategic oversight of progress, key deliverables and system-wide projects in the ICS.
Partners in Buckinghamshire have a history of joint working and relationships are strong. The council’s chief executive chairs the ICS Implementation Board and, over time, there may be potential for greater alignment between the Integrated Care Partnership Board and the HWB. Through the HWB, the whole system has signed up to a shared approach to prevention where all partners including local government, all parts of the NHS, police, fire and the Department for Work and Pensions will be working together on key priorities, including social isolation, to improve the health and wellbeing of the population. Buckinghamshire has a strong sense of place, and wherever possible partners intend to build on and support developments that are already underway, rather than setting up new structures and mechanisms.
Buckinghamshire has an integrated commissioning structure for all age groups, managed by a joint commissioning team. It operates pooled budgets in mental health, children’s services and learning disabilities and has a transparent approach to other budgets, such as continuing healthcare. Commissioning intentions are set out in market position statements, and in future more responsibility for achieving outcomes will be delegated to provider partnerships.
“The health and wellbeing board has been instrumental in leading our integrated care journey, setting the ICS vision for Buckinghamshire residents to have happier and healthier lives. As we continue the development of integrated working, the HWB will continue to be a pivotal part of our collective approach to planning and delivering joined-up health and care services.”
Robert Majilton, Deputy Chief Officer , Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group
Buckinghamshire is developing a population health management approach to support system-wide commissioning and locality working through detailed local data packs. It aims to establish local community boards which will develop a neighbourhood vision and strategy. It will explore how primary care networks, community health and care delivery, and the voluntary and community sector could work together in neighbourhoods.
The ICS has ambitious plans for an integrated approach to information technology across the council, the clinical commissioning group and an integrated NHS trust. Part of this programme will be to develop a single portal for professionals from all sectors to access and add to data, and for the residents to have a single portal for public services.
The joint health and wellbeing strategy was refreshed in 2017 to put a stronger emphasis on place, reducing inequalities, and children’s and adult mental health. This was accompanied by a comprehensive dashboard to monitor progress.
Buckinghamshire’s population is predicted to grow by 16 per cent by 2039, a faster rate than the South East. This will have a significant impact on services and infrastructure, and the HWB has agreed that collaboration on the growth agenda is a priority.
Katie McDonald, Health and Wellbeing Lead Officer