Welcome to The Triangle

Welcome to the December issue of The Triangle. It has been an extraordinary year for the NHS, with celebrations marking its 75th birthday, fresh challenges in financial and operational terms, but most importantly of all, millions of successful, supportive and positive health and care interactions with the people we all serve as part of our wider NHS family.

In this edition, we wanted to look at some of the issues we face but also reflect on some positive initiatives and investments across the BSW area.

As many of you will know, the financial health of the NHS has been under the spotlight following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, which did not include any additional funding for healthcare. This underlined the message that ICBs and systems need to do more at pace to put ourselves on a sustainable financial footing. This is why it is vital that we continue to work together to bring to life our vision of integration and transformation – as outlined in our Integrated Care Strategy – so that we can live within our means.

As a system, we and our partners are working hard together as we face the challenges from a lengthy period of coordinated industrial action, address winter pressures and the ongoing work of rebuilding after the Covid pandemic. We are in agreement that we must make the most of every pound of taxpayers’ money that we are given and are well-placed to do this with the greatest effect for local people through positive joint working, innovation and looking at how we can do things differently.

There is much to be proud of when we look at the work that goes on every day to help improve the health and wellbeing of people across BSW. In this edition of the Triangle, you will find the first of a series of reports in which we look at the advances being made in cancer care across BSW, including initiatives to improve early diagnosis and save more lives. As cancer now affects 1 in 2 people during their lifetime, providing the highest quality care and support has never been more important.

We look at how those living with learning disabilities and autism across BSW are set to benefit from a £40m South West-wide investment to improve mental health care. Twenty new mental health hospital beds are being created to serve our South West region and will help bring an end to long-distance placements, making life better both for individuals who need hospital treatment, and for their families, friends, and carers.

We also look at how Dorothy House Hospice in Wiltshire, Prospect House Hospice in Swindon and Salisbury Hospice are working together as the BSW Palliative and End of Life Care Alliance to reduce variation in care, better collaborate on the provision of hospice beds, align referral criteria and reduce inequity in access to services.

These good news stories, together with lots of other great work going on across BSW, do highlight how the integration and system working agenda set out through the formation of Integrated Care Boards eighteen months ago will help us achieve our ambitions.

Thank you, as always, for reading and do let us know what you think about the issues we’ve raised here or in the rest of this issue of The Triangle by contacting bswicb.partnership@nhs.net