We’ve been working hard to develop our health and care system in Surrey Heartlands and, with the new financial year, look forward to taking on additional responsibilities as we continue to mature as an Integrated Care System.  This means less dependency on our regulators (NHS England and NHS Improvement) and more autonomy in the way we lead and develop our health and care system. 

To support this, we have created a new executive leadership team to support the increasing responsibilities of system working, whilst ensuring organisational statutory functions are still met. I’m looking forward to working with the team as we move forward.  

We are also looking forward to working more closely with East Surrey partners – East Surrey CCG, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust and First Community Health and Care – from this month.  This makes sense from a strategic perspective given our close partnership with Surrey County Council and the expectation that Integrated Care Systems take more collective responsibility for improving health across local authority areas (see more below).

This month we were delighted to welcome NHS England Chair Lord David Prior to our Partnership Forum event – more below – as we brought together over 150 stakeholders to discuss how we can involve local people more, in particular in the development of our local Integrated Care Partnerships.

Finally, I’m pleased to tell you that I’ve been selected to take part in the new NHS Assembly, a national forum bringing together a range of people from across the health and care system in England.  Chaired by former head of the King’s Fund Professor Sir Chris Ham and leading GP Dr Claire Gerada, the new Assembly will act as a ‘guiding coalition’ to advise the boards of NHS England and NHS Improvement on implementation of the NHS Long Term Plan.

It will be important they hear experiences directly from local systems; and as a devolved system it is important for us to continue to champion the broader agenda of integration, including the wider determinants of health.  I feel colleagues from local authorities have been under represented in the Assembly membership, although I’m pleased to see a strong representation from colleagues specialising on learning disabilities and autism as well as the First Thousand Days.

With very best wishes,

Dr Claire Fuller, Senior Responsible Officer for Surrey Heartlands