Integrated and collaborative health and care system key to future commissioning

Speakers offer insight into future of health and social care at annual event

More than 7,600 healthcare professionals congregated from all over the country to hear the latest political developments and educational and business updates in two packed days at Health+Care and The Commissioning Show 2014.

Too often you find that good ideas are deployed in one area and even 20 or 30 miles away their neighbours may be entirely unaware of what is happening on their doorstep. It’s like a cross-pollinisation process that allows people to see how good ideas might work for them

More than 350 speakers in 14 theatres at the ExCel London delivered informed legislation and policy lectures, live debates, case studies and keynote sessions on issues ranging from integrated care, CCG business and long-term conditions to care commissioning, public health and care home and residential care business.

Some 400 exhibitors were also on hand to demonstrate the latest services, products, equipment and innovations on the market and to network with delegates.

The move towards a more-integrated and collaborative health and care system was a key theme of the event.

This year a record-breaking 97% of CCGs were represented at the event. More than half the audience was made up of CCGs and 97% of health and wellbeing boards were represented. Commissioning Show and Health+Care attendees browsing the exhibition were responsible for spending more than £57billion of the NHS budget and nearly £1.5billion on social care.

“When I spoke at the conference here last year we were in the planning stages of what this more-integrated service would look like.” Care and Support Minister, Normal Lamb, told delegates.

“At the time we were sifting through a remarkable 99 applications from all over the country to become integrated care pioneers. To me the level of interest in wanting to become a pioneer when the Government was not offering a single penny of support demonstrated the pent up energy in the system to do things differently, to take control and show what you could do without being dictated to from on high.”

He said the 14 pilots chosen to pioneer integrated care pioneers were already having an impact by leading change and improving care.

You are now in the driving seat to deliver a completely new vision for integrated care in your areas and you have the powers and freedoms and the clinical leadership in the way that people at local levels have never had before to break down barriers

“What is really exciting is the innovation and experimentation that is going on all over the place,” added Lamb.

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, told a packed lecture theatre that the second key innovation in the last year had been the launch of the Better Care Fund, which gave CCGs and local authorities a leadership role in jointly commissioning care.

“We are seeing discussions happening as a result of the Better Care Fund which have never happened before,” he said.

Hunt also spoke about the new opportunity for CCGs to co-commission primary care with NHS England. He told health and care commissioning leaders: “You are now in the driving seat to deliver a completely new vision for integrated care in your areas and you have the powers and freedoms and the clinical leadership in the way that people at local levels have never had before to break down barriers. Many of you are already starting to use those freedoms and I want to support you to do it.”

Stephen Dorrell, former chairman of the Health Select Committee, added: “Conferences like this are important because they enable the community of commissioners and providers of health and care services to meet and share each other’s experiences. Too often you find that good ideas are deployed in one area and even 20 or 30 miles away their neighbours may be entirely unaware of what is happening on their doorstep. It’s like a cross-pollinisation process that allows people to see how good ideas might work for them.”

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