Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent come together to plan for improvements in NHS and social care

NHS and social care organisations across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent today agreed to work together to improve health and care services for their patients.

They will come together as a Commissioning Congress to identify and drive delivery of a collective transformation programme, to ensure citizens in Staffordshire and Stoke-on Trent have high quality, sustainable services going into the future. These services will work with people to help them take control of their health and promote self-care and prevention, as this is what local people tell us they want.

The Congress will be led by the six NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council. NHS England will also have representation.

Rita Symons, currently the Accountable Officer of South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula CCG has been appointed as the Transformation Director to lead the programme across the eight organisations, working with providers and partners.  Rita will take up post on 4 August, 2015. 

Speaking to over 300 health and social care staff, Rita said “I am delighted to be taking on this challenging role and confident that we can work together to deliver better outcomes for local people. It is a really positive step that the eight organisations have come together in this way and I believe we are building real momentum to help us to achieve our aspirations.”

Andrew Donald who is currently the Accountable Officer of Stafford and Surrounds and Cannock Chase CCGs will also take on the Accountable Officer role at South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula CCG.

Staffordshire Moorlands GP Dr Julie Oxtoby said: “By joining together across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent we can reduce duplication, just doing things once where possible. Collectively we can also strengthen clinical leadership by drawing from a larger pool.

“Our overwhelming priority is improving quality of care. It is better if we work together to do that and establishing the Congress will boost our collective strength. We aim to make local patients partners in this work by seeking their views and involving them at every step. We also need to ensure that we work even more closely across health and local government so that the NHS, social care and prevention become more integrated.”

The Congress has initially agreed to set up a number of workstreams that will look at different areas of work.

These include:

  • Fit and Well – concentrating on preventing ill health and empowering people to manage their own health
  • High risk and Independent – Supporting people who have long-term health conditions to live at home with appropriate support, including social care
  • In The System – people who are receiving care in an NHS or social care setting outside their home, including acute and community hospitals

Alan White, cabinet member for health, care and wellbeing on Staffordshire County Council said: "As Staffordshire people live longer, they want to lead, fuller, healthier and more independent lives. It is essential we have the right health and care system in the county to support that, with all council and NHS partners working together as one to provide more effective and efficient care.

"The Congress will see our eight organisations work ever closer to design and provide the right health and care services in the right setting. There will be a particular focus on prevention so that people are healthier for longer, and increasing support in people's homes, where people tell us they want to be."