NHS Future Forum wants your views on integrated care

Two webchats in November

The second phase of the NHS Future Forum continues to listen and engage with a wide range of patients, public, NHS staff and partners. This phase is looking at four distinct areas of policy:

  • information
  • integration
  • education and training
  • the NHS’s role in the public’s health

The recommendations from each workstream will help inform policy development in the Department of Health.

The independent Forum is made up of 55 members chosen for their relevant experience and background. The integrated care workstream is led by GP Robert Varnam and Geoff Alltimes, Chief Executive of Hammersmith and Fulham.  The workstream is particularly interested in how the needs of the following three groups can be better met by the health and social care system:

  • the frail elderly with multiple long term conditions
  • children with complex needs
  • adults with long term mental health problems

Robert and Geoff are holding two webchats about integrated care on 2 and 17 November 2011. More information and registration are available here.

Forum chair Professor Steve Field says,

“This phase has been really rewarding because we are able to focus in detail on what is proven to work and from that unpick what leads to the best outcomes for patients. I’m interested in the art of the possible now and I want the Forum’s work to help NHS staff to adopt best practice in their day to day activities.”

To date the Forum has engaged and listened to more than 3,400 people during the second phase and Forum members have attended more than 140 meetings around the country.

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2 Responses to NHS Future Forum wants your views on integrated care

  1. Natalie Sinnadurai says:

    The nhs can only provide a good, much needed service if it is properly staffed.

    http://www.smhp.nhs.uk A relative of mine, a Community Psychiatric Nurse was forced to retire in May/June last year (before the legislation preventing this came in to force in October). All staff of retiring age or over working for East Suffolk Health Trust were forced to retire, just to save money. This trust has always been renowned as a poor employer. Just before she was due to retire they asked her to stay on for a few more months because the workload was so vast and they weren’t going to have enough staff to cover it. She did stay on for three more months.

    Since she’s retired, the trust, now Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, has been contacting her at intervals asking her to return as they just don’t have the staff to cover the work; there wasn’t enough staff before she retired. So far, she has refused to go back.

    By all accounts, the Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is doing an even worse job than East Suffolk did.

    It’s all about money. The whole situation is a ticking time bomb.

    I also have a personal perspective. I have been clinically depressed, I would say most of my life – I am now 50 years. I was first prescribed medication (Sertraline) about 20 years ago and have been on and off it ever since. I have often had suicidal thoughts.

    I moved to West Suffolk nine years ago. I had a young child and was visited by a Health Visitor to check on her and, whilst chatting to her, she decided that I needed to talk to somebody. 6 years later, I was offered access to something with Menta. I was seen by a volunteer for whom I had to pay. Luckily for me I am quite robust and realised that he was useless. Later that year, I was offered access to a government scheme, also run by Menta and was written to by a trainee. I called her and just couldn’t fix a time that suited me as I was working part-time and didn’t want work to know my situation. The trainee got cross with me because I wasn’t being co-operative and told me that ‘other working mothers can fit the sessions in’. I didn’t call her back.

    Two or three times after that I tried to get access to some talking therapy and filled out forms and heard nothing. Eventually my GP told me not to be too honest about how badly I felt (eg suicidal) ‘cos the NHS wouldn’t take me on if my case was too serious.

    I eventually got some kind of counselling through my GP’s surgery but, again, he wasn’t fully qualified and was practising on me and it was like ‘counselling by numbers’; I could see every cog whirring and every clichéd phrase from every terrible film I’d seen came out. I walked out of my fifth session because I was so angry and have never been back.

    All the above makes me feel worthless. The GPs kept telling me that if I didn’t hear within six weeks or so I was to get back in touch and chase them. They forgot that I am depressed and (1) I couldn’t keep track of how long it was taking to get a service and (2) my self-esteem took an even bigger nose-dive because nobody felt I was worth giving treatment to.

    I am too scared to come off medication, now, because the dark times are really dark. I sometimes wish I was bipolar so at least I would have some ‘up’ times. I have none – I’m either melancholy (and on medication) or in a deep, dark pit.

    yours

    Natalie Sinnadurai

  2. Nirmal Puwar says:

    Even when an integrated package of care has been agreed by the NHS Continuing Health team and LA Social Services, in subsequent reviews the NHS continue to remove care on the basis that the person does not have a primary health need which qualifies him/her to fully funded NHS care, even when the care was originally granted as an integrated on the basis that the needs are intense but don’t meet fully funded NHS care. There needs to be a clearer explication of social and health needs for the elderly, as the NHS is using this distinction to remove care.