Collaborating with our partners across the North East
Over the last few months, I’ve been focusing on the local, regional and national partnerships that are fundamental to our work and the care we provide to our patients. As an outstanding organisation, we need to realise the potential that these partnerships can bring, not just for our benefit, but very much to support our wider population and the rest of the health economy.
As one of the largest employers in the North East and one of the biggest and best NHS organisations in the UK, it’s especially important that we understand the scope, breadth and depth of the challenges and opportunities that we face in Newcastle. We have a responsibility to support the health of the local population and indeed to go beyond that and contribute to the health, wealth and wellbeing of our city.
Working together as the three major institutions in Newcastle; the City Council, University and our Trust have made a commitment to explore new approaches to caring for our ageing population. Joining up services for frail older people might be one area where we can seize the opportunity to provide a different and more effective response. Next week, as partners, we will welcome Prof Joseph Coughlin from Massachusetts Institute of Technology to the city to support our shared approach to becoming a truly age friendly city. That’s a very clear illustration of the different ways of working that we have the opportunity to seize.
And it’s not just in service delivery where we can contribute. We can procure more of our supplies from local businesses, we can work with local industry to create innovations to help people to live in their homes longer and more safely and we can be an exemplar employer in Newcastle. These are all equally important ways that we can contribute to the health, wealth and wellbeing of our local population.
At another level, specialised commissioning is also moving at speed as NHS England has announced plans for the integration of specialised commissioning with local health and care systems. This is a further area of partnership working that requires our focus.The move will see national commissioners and local systems working together to plan and develop place-based services. This creates huge opportunities for those of us working in specialist services to build on our successes and strengths and work differently to consolidate our networks and reach. We are already seeing this approach in pathology services, where we are working across our integrated care system to provide and support services regionally and helping smaller units to develop their services.
It is an exciting time and will require all of us to work differently and think of new ways to contribute and collaborate with colleagues.
This blog was originally published by The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.