A year of fast paced challenges for West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group

Health / Thu 3rd Apr 2014 pm30 12:43pm

NHS WEST Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (WECCG) has reached its first birthday and is reflecting on its achievements which have surpassed expectations in a challenging climate. Successes over the past year include more collaborative working between statutory organisations and service providers and more integration between services – meaning local people are already benefitting from improvements in their care.

Several key organisations are now formally collaborating for the first time ever on services for frail people – delivering integrated health, mental health and social care. This collaboration focuses on reducing the likelihood of hospital or care home admissions by empowering patients and service users though preventative measures, appropriate, timely treatment and well managed long term care.

Partnerships with Essex County Council and local district councils have also facilitated more integrated working– with ambitious plans for the future. One example of this is, a more coordinated health and social care approach which proved effective in keeping people more at home and out of hospital over winter.

Clare Morris, Chief Officer of WECCG said: “The way health and social care is delivered is going through enormous change and integration of services is already happening. We’re really proud of where we’ve got to, what we have achieved and of the ambition for local people that we’ve set out.”

Collaboration has also proved successful amongst GP practices, where CCG GPs have been instrumental in encouraging local practices to work with each other to explore how they can deliver more services locally. Following extensive public engagement, local people overwhelmingly told the CCG that they want GP surgeries to be the key to accessing healthcare. Surgeries are now thinking fundamentally differently about how they’ll work together in the long term to deliver enhanced services locally.

Uttlesford GPs have now formed a limited company, marking their commitment to working together while Epping Forest and Harlow GPs are considering following suit with the aim of providing more services locally.

Rob Gerlis, Chair of WECCG and a Harlow GP said: “For me, a facet of our success is that while we are a much smaller commissioning organisation than the one we replaced, we are having a much greater impact. Development of GP services is becoming a crucial part of changing services and NHS transformation is no longer something we’re talking about, but something every organisation is engaged in delivering.”

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