The work of One Ilfracombe was in the spotlight on 13th October when representatives spoke about the pioneering work taking place in the town at the King’s Fund Integrated Care Summit.
One Ilfracombe is a pioneering partnership between the public sector, private sector and the community whose aim is to improve the health, economic conditions and living environment for the people of Ilfracombe. It has three main teams, Ilfracombe Works, Town Team and the Living Well Together team and it was the latter which was in particular focus for the conference having set out this year to join up all of the health and wellbeing provision.
The One Ilfracombe team presenting were Programme Manager Andrea Beacham, Dr Andrew Moore, consultant psychiatrist from Devon Partnership NHS Trust and One Ilfracombe Living Well Together team member together with One Ilfracombe Director and chair of the northern locality NEW Devon CCG Dr John Womersley.
The conference showcased international and national examples of integrated care that has extended into services not normally linked with health and social care. The keynote address was given by NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens in what has been described as “arguably his most important speech since he took up post.”
The Ilfracombe team posed the question, “How local can you go?” when developing a model of integration and argued that the answer is “as local as you need to go” in order to see the detail of what’s happening on the ground, engage the breadth of service provision and get personal and work together with our residents.
They presented feedback from the Ilfracombe community which showed the effects of not having a joined up service and the missed opportunities to support people during their ‘Wobble Point’ before they hit a crisis.
Andrea said, “We know that as service providers, we could work much more collaboratively and that would be more efficient at a time when everyone needs to make savings. But that’s not our primary motivator. It’s focussing on the effect this has on real people when we get it wrong that motivates us to continue to commit to this programme of integration.”
Dr Moore highlighted how many of his mental health patients were more often than not also using other health services, and had broader needs that could not be met by his service alone such as housing and employment.
He said, “Health and wellbeing is often complex, and every individual is unique, all the more so when it comes to mental health. That means we have to be able to look beyond a person’s immediate mental health issues, into their wider physical and social health, then wider still into their housing, education, and employment needs. One Ilfracombe, with its uniquely local approach, and impressive breadth of services involvement, allows us to begin to realise that vision for our patients. If a service feels integrated and coordinated for people with mental health issues (which is 1 in 4 of us at some stage in our lives), then it probably is an integrated and coordinated service…that’s our ultimate aim.”
At the other end of the scale, the interim Chief Officer for Health and Care Devolution in Manchester talked about the ambition for £22 billion to be devolved to Greater Manchester.
Dr Womersley said, “This was an excellent opportunity to showcase the work of One Ilfracombe at the annual summit of a very well respected and influential independent health care policy body. Our model is unusual in that it is led from the bottom-up and has commitment from the service providers, commissioners as well as the community and businesses. Other areas will be following our progress closely.”