Integrated care systems, known as ICS’, will formally come into operation from the 1st of July across England.

What’s an integrated care system? (ICS)

The role of an ICS, is to:

  • Improve health and healthcare outcomes for local people
  • Tackle inequalities in outcomes, experience and access
  • Enhance productivity and value for money
  • Help the NHS support broader social and economic development

Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System

 The introduction of Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS creates a unique chance to connect the views of local people with the planning and running of the services we all use, particularly the voices of those who are too often overlooked.

Your local Healthwatch

As your local health and social care champion, Healthwatch exists to make sure NHS leaders and other decision makers hear your voice and use your feedback to improve care.

As an independent body, we have powers to ensure system leaders and other decision makers listen to people’s feedback and drive forward improvements.

But we can only do that thanks to the views and experiences we hear from local residents and communities. We use that feedback to better understand the challenges facing health and social care; to make sure that your views influence improvements at the heart of the services we all rely on. We also help people with the information and advice they need to make the right decisions and get the support they need.

Healthwatch Together: working in partnership

During the last few years, local Healthwatch in Lancashire and South Cumbria have formed a partnership. We have called this partnership Healthwatch Together.

We have recently appointed a Strategic Lead, Rimpy Batta, to formalise the partnership who will oversee a programme of shared projects on behalf of the collaborative.

The following local Healthwatch form Healthwatch Together:

  • Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen
  • Healthwatch Lancashire
  • Healthwatch Cumbria
  • Healthwatch Blackpool

Our key aim is to drive forward effective community engagement and co-production opportunities in collaboration with our statutory partners to drive forward the transformation of health and social care within the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System.

Each Healthwatch retains its own identity and continues to deliver its core work programmes. In undertaking shared projects within and on behalf of the Integrated Care System, each Healthwatch is a key delivery partner within Healthwatch Together and will act in the best interests of the collaborative and for local populations.

 The Integrated Care System and Healthwatch Together

The move to integrated care systems will herald meaningful and proactive listening at all levels of decision-making. There will be opportunities to carry out system wide consultation, engagement and co-production activity which the Healthwatch network is in an ideal place to support and deliver.

Healthwatch Together is an evolving collaboration and will be improved upon as the need arises. This will be based on local population need and the emerging guidance issued from Healthwatch England regarding good practice and working arrangements with Integrated Care Systems.

Healthwatch Together will undertake activity on behalf of Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System. We will work hard to make sure the views of local people are represented in the new NHS structure. We are also committed to playing our part by championing equality and inclusion, and helping services reach every bit of the community.

When services listen and act on the experiences of patients and service users, it results in better care. We have a real chance if we can get the new system right by creating a true partnership between services and the public.

How we can help you

If you’ve recently visited your GP, or local hospital, or used any health and care services in we want to hear from you.

Whether you’ve had a good or bad experience, we can use your feedback to improve services for everyone and we have the power to make NHS leaders and other care providers listen to what you have to say.

We’re completely independent and impartial and anything you say is confidential. We also offer information and advice to help you to get the support you need. Our service is free, simple to use and can make a real difference to local people.

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