This merger will be the start of a new landscape for how our health and social care services are commissioned, organised and delivered that should be better for patients.
The plans will also save time and money, freeing up GPs to spend more time with patients.
Work is already underway to make this transition which will come into effect from April 1st and we are busy discussing how the voice of patients and carers will be heard in this new system.
The single CCG will become an Integrated Care System and will cover all of Kent & Medway. We already have a seat at the Integrated Care System Board.
Sitting below the Integrated Care System will be four Integrated Care Partnerships or ICPs. The four will be:
- West Kent Integrated Care Partnership
- Dartford, Gravesham & Swanley Integrated Care Partnership
- Medway & Swale Integrated Care Partnership
- East Kent Integrated Care Partnership
Integrated Care Partnerships are a buzzword that you are likely to hear a lot about in the coming months. They are a geographical partnership of organisations that commission, deliver and organise your health and social care services in that area.
The partners will work together to understand what people in the area need, and then design and deliver services that meet those needs in a co-ordinated and integrated way.
It’s not just the NHS; the Councils, voluntary groups and charities are part of the partnership too all working together to improve our health and ensure everyone can get the best care and support they need regardless of where they live.
Change won’t happen overnight so don’t expect something radically different on April 2nd but equally don’t underestimate what a big change this is for how our health and social care services will operate.