Weekend Diagnosis: ‘Working with you, for you’ encapsulates our vision

7 December 2015

Mairead McAlindenThis Weekend Diagnosis is from Mairead McAlinden, our Chief Executive

We are one of the first organisations in the country to bring the provision of acute and community health and social care together into one organisation, our new Torbay and South Devon Trust, so it is important for us to define what this really means – why have we done it, what will it achieve and what we want to improve for local people.

Our vision is to create a community where we are all supported and empowered to be as well and as independent as possible, able to manage our own health and wellbeing, in our own homes or the place we have chosen to live. When we need care we have choice about how our needs are met, only having to tell our story once.

Our purpose is to provide high quality, safe health and social care at the right time, in the right place to support the people of Torbay and South Devon to live their lives to the full.

We have asked our staff to come up with ideas for a short phrase that captures the spirit of what we are trying to achieve and we received a great response which reflects how committed they are to delivering this new way of working. Our staff then voted for ‘Working with you, for you’ and I think it encapsulates our vision and purpose perfectly. It really sums up how we want to do our best to work in partnership with people who need our care and that we will focus on what matters to you, respecting that our patients and clients are also experts – experts by experience – and giving you a voice and choice in the care that you may need.

If you do need care, we want this to be well planned and joined-up with GPs, the community and voluntary sector, mental health and public health partners to ensure that where possible we work in joined up way and with a listening ear to avoid you becoming so unwell you need hospital care and that where possible, this joined up care is provided in your local area. We are continuing to invest in specialised, responsive hospital services but hospital is not the only choice – ‘the best bed is your own bed’. Using technology to join up care, share information and provide support is also going to play a major role in how we can achieve our vision. We plan to make some of these changes over the next year, changing from hospital based care to more care provided by specialist community services which will be based in up to five locations across Torbay and South Devon.

These specialist services will be an extra resource and a new choice for you, your GP and the community staff who work with them. We are confident that these new, more local, services will reduce the need for hospital based care, particularly for people who have complex health problems. We know that some people have more than one health problem for example diabetes, heart problems and kidney disease and they may be seeing different specialists for each of these. We plan to develop services linking with community health and care services which deal with all of a person’s health needs, take account of what really matters to people and supports them in livings their lives to the full. This is what local people have said they want, and so we will move money from hospital to community care to fund this new model of specialist, more joined up and more local care and we will use the latest technology to support it.

There are exciting times ahead, and I for one am really looking forward to ‘working with you, for you’.


Weekend Diagnosis a fortnightly column published in the Herald Express discussing local health and care issues.

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