Representatives from Integrated Care Communities (ICCs) were delighted to be invited discuss their development with the health secretary during his visit to the Cancer Centre at the Cumberland Infirmary yesterday.

Health Secretary Sajid David expressed an interest in learning more about ICCs and their role in north Cumbria and the wider system. He spoke to staff from our community teams, as well as primary care and the voluntary sector. They explained how by working together as an ICC we bring care closer to home, help support people to get discharged home in a timely way and reduce the need for many people to be admitted into hospitals.

The group also talked about how the successes delivered though the ICCs come on the back of solid relationships across services and organisations, which have taken time and passion to build and strengthen.

Vanessa Connor, ICC development manager at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust said:

“We spoke about how the relationships we have built across health, public health, social care, and third sector have enabled us to mobilise swiftly at the beginning of the pandemic to control outbreaks and maintain essential care. Sajid was really interested in our day units and how they are helping us to deliver care closer to home, reducing pressure on our hospital sites.

 

“He was also interested in the roll out of e-community and how this will help us to work more efficiently. He is keen for all health care to become smarter with digital solutions.”

The team were proud to say Cumbria has developed these over recent years and the positive results of this are beginning to show.

Ed Tallis, director of primary care for NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“It was great to be able to talk in detail to the Health Secretary about some of the really exciting work we are doing in north Cumbria in our Integrated Care Communities. We have been building these relationships for some years, and now we are seeing the benefits for patients in bringing our primary care, community and adult social care teams together, along with the third sector.

 

“Bringing teams together from different organisations makes it easier for them to work together. We know it is improving patient experience, and that staff can feel the difference in this collaborative approach.”

Vanessa added: “Overall, he was genuinely very interested in what we have achieved by working together as a system.”

Sajid Javid MP was at the Cumberland Infirmary to formally visit the new cancer centre on the Cumberland Infirmary site. He specifically asked the Trust to set up a meeting to learn about the exciting work we have undertaken in developing ICCs so he can share our best practice across the country.

To find out more about ICCs please go to Integrated Care Communities – How do they work?