At the end of last month we learnt from a new Heath Foundation report that the number of people living with major illnesses in England is rising at an alarming rate and, by 2040, nine million people will be living with dementia, diabetes, cancer, depression and kidney disease.
In a rapidly ageing population, this means the number living with serious diseases will rise from almost one in six adults in 2019 to nearly one in five by 2040, with huge implications for the NHS, social care and public finances.
Although these statistics make alarming reading, they are not unexpected and it is reassuring to know that the health and care system in BSW, and throughout the rest of the country, has robust strategies in place to help us to face the challenges the future brings in a seamless and joined up way.
During our last Board meeting in Public in July, we collectively approved several key pieces of work which will help us to address some of the issues raised by the Health Foundation report.
We approved an Implementation Plan for our Integrated Care Strategy which sets out how we will achieve our three strategic objectives of focusing on prevention and early intervention, working to address health inequalities and developing excellent health and care services that are fit for the future.
We approved a new version of our inequalities strategy which provides a framework for partners to work together to address the systematic, unfair and avoidable differences in health among people in BSW.
We also discussed our approach to the new NHS Workforce plan, which will help us to grow our colleague numbers, embed the right culture to help them develop and look at how we can all work together in new ways.
All of these pieces of work are underway across BSW and we will continue to work together to ensure we have robust strategies in place to enable us to face the challenges ahead.
You can read more about these projects, as well as news about how we are working together to improve health for everybody living and working in BSW, in this issue of the Triangle.,
Finally, as many take the opportunity for a well-earned break, we would like to pass on our sincere thanks to all of the dedicated and hard-working staff that will be keeping services running across BSW Together – our ICS – over the summer. These are challenging times for our local health and care system and, without the unwavering support of our staff, things would certainly be more difficult.
Thanks for reading.
Chief Executive Officer, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board
Chair, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board