This month at BSW Together ICS we have celebrated two important occasions, the 75th birthday of the NHS and the first anniversary of our Integrated Care Board (ICB), which formally came together as a legal entity on 1 July 2022.
The 75th anniversary of the NHS is a truly significant landmark and one that gives us time to reflect on the many achievements of our health service and to look ahead to the opportunities we have to shape the next 75 years. You can read more about how we marked this occasion in this issue of The Triangle.
We’re also reflecting on the role of BSW ICS one year on from its inception. The vast majority of what determines someone’s health and wellbeing happens way beyond the reach and remit of the health service. What this past year has shown us is that we have a real opportunity in integrated care systems for the NHS to help drive collective action on the wider determinants of health, working with our colleagues in local authority public health and social care teams, as well as schools, housing associations, employers, the voluntary sector, and many others besides.
This kind of partnership working will deliver what we all want to see, which is people living longer, healthier and happier lives, spending more time at home and less in hospitals.
Over the last 12 months we have made progress on several key areas through working together on your behalf, many of which have been reported in this newsletter. These include: the establishment of our Care Coordination Centre to help the movement of patients through our hospitals and help get people home; a new state-of-the-art health centre in Devizes; our Integrated Care Strategy which sets our plans for the future; and our international recruitment programme targeting healthcare professionals from India to come and work in our area.
We are bringing our ambition of seamless working across our organisations to life by closer cooperation at an operational level and by reporting on progress through our regular Board Meetings in public. We’ve held six of these since last July and have welcomed members of the public and our stakeholders to observe many of them. We’re open and transparent about how we make our decisions and the issues we discuss and you can read minutes, actions and the questions that members of the public have asked, along with answers, on our website here.
The most satisfying achievements have been those that may not have been highlighted in press releases or social media posts, but none the less represent the significant changes our joint approach to local health and care services have brought on a day-to-day basis. Examples here include the way we successfully worked together through one of the most pressurised winters on record, coordinated services during the ongoing industrial action and worked seamlessly on numerous initiatives to benefit patients and the wider public with our local authority and VCSE sector partners.
We know we have much more to do for the people and communities we serve and by working together we can meet the evolving health and care needs of our local populations head on.
We’d like to thank our dedicated and hard-working colleagues across the area for embracing the opportunities presented by this joined-up approach and for facing the future with optimism, ambition and pride.
Many thanks for your continued interest in BSW ICB.
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