Three years ago the county council formed the East Sussex Better Together programme with clinical commissioning groups, the trust running Eastbourne’s District General Hospital and Hastings’ Conquest Hospital, and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
Through a number of initiatives the partnership has been working to transform and integrate health and social care, and the latest stage of the programme is the ESBT Alliance, which will deliver an accountable model of care and strengthen current arrangements.
This will look at how the organisations best use the £850m they spend collectively each year and is undergoing a ‘test bed year’ in 2017/18 before officially launching in April 2018.
By 2020 a new accountable care organisation would be established, which could involve the creation of a new East Sussex Health and Care NHS Trust taking a lead role across the health system and providing the majority of services in the ESBT area.
Keith Hinkley, director of adult social care and health at the county council, argued that a three year incremental approach would allow them to engage with all the relevant organisations.
He said: “What’s really important is that we can actually build the new accountable care model by actually going through these building blocks and putting them in place to ensure a robust overall structure to enable us to deliver the outcomes that we want within East Sussex.”
Becky Shaw, chief executive of the county council, added: “It has been a megalithic undertaking by the director but also the teams across a number of county council departments.”
Article from The Eastbourne Herald, 18 July 2017