Our vision of health and care
Our vision reflects what local people have told us they want.
Our vision is 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. When we need care we have choice about how our needs are met, only having to tell our story once
What does this mean for services and local people?
We know that many people find our health and care system complicated and they can feel overwhelmed at the range of information available, not knowing where to go for support. We now have one single budget covering all our services, allowing money to be spent where it is needed most.
As a single organisation we are able to find new ways to meet the growing needs of our local population, without more money. We can work more effectively and efficiently to improve and secure safe, high quality local health and social care services. There will be some difficult decisions to make around how services change in future. We will work with our commissioners to engage and consult local people as we plan changes to services.
Care will be centred around communities and people, and focused on wellbeing, self-care and prevention of ill-health. Voluntary services will play a fundamental role in supporting people to maintain an active and fulfilling life, retaining their independence for as long as possible. More specialised services will be provided to people at home and in their local communities. People will only go to hospital when they need treatment or care that cannot be provided in their own community.
Examples of change
Musculo-skeletal physiotherapy teams
Torbay and South Devon’s ten rapid access musculo-skeletal physiotherapy teams were designed after taking patient feedback on board. People can now refer themselves for an assessment, advice and a treatment plan, which may include onward referral for a specialist physiotherapist and/or consultant orthopaedic option. We offer an appointment the same day, next day or the day after at clinics in the community.
Wellbeing co-ordinators are being appointed. They will ensure your care is based around ‘what matters to you’ rather than ‘what is the matter with you.’
Seeking advice in the ICO (integrated care organisation)
For most people, their GP is the starting point when they need help with their health. Often, the GP is able to diagnose, advise and treat the patient with no further intervention. However, sometimes they need more specialist advice and, under our current system, they have to refer their patient to hospital for an outpatient appointment through a national system called ‘Choose and Book.’ This can mean a wait of a few weeks before an appointment and then tests may be needed before definite advice or treatment can be offered. It is quite common that our specialist receiving a referral will feel that they might have been able to answer the question just by talking with and advising the GP, but by that time an appointment is already made.
Our new approach is to offer GPs an option to seek advice, which will mean that patients get advice and treatment much more quickly. If the GP and specialist agree that the patient does need a hospital appointment, it will be possible to arrange any necessary tests before their appointment so that a diagnosis can be reached more quickly and the right treatment planned. For many patients this should mean fewer costly and time-consuming visits to hospital.
With conversations happening between doctors there is an opportunity for sharing information more effectively and learning from each other.
What will success look like?
We will develop our measures of success around patient outcomes and improved patient experience. This will include indicators about wellbeing, prevention and self-care, alongside a reduction in hospital admissions, beds and care packages. Together, these measures will evidence the difference that our focus on ‘what matters to me’ is making.
For local people, that will mean you only have to tell your story once – to your wellbeing co-ordinator. You will be involved in decisions about your health and care and offered lifestyle support. If you live with long-term conditions, you will be supported to manage those conditions as close to home as possible, with minimal need for hospital appointments and admissions.