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​Clinical commissioning turns one

One year ago, local GPs and nurses took over the commissioning of NHS services in Lambeth. To mark our first anniversary we wanted to share some of our key achievements over the past year.

Talking to local people

Throughout the year we have been talking to local people about health services and how they can improve. During 2013 we carried out a large scale engagement programme called the Big Lambeth Health Debate. We talked to more than 800 local people about the future of health in Lambeth. There were meetings, events, online surveys, discussions and social media campaigning. The debate has helped shape the way we work through our vision ‘Healthier Together’. You can read more about the debate and what local people told us on our dedicated page.

We have also engaged through the Lambeth Living Well Collaborative. It is a group of users and carers working together with the NHS and Lambeth Council to tackle the big challenges we all face and to radically improve wellbeing. The Collaborative aims to radically transform the outcomes experienced by people with long term and severe mental illness, who experience high levels of unemployment and poor physical health.  This work has helped shape the Living Well Network - the new ‘front door’ to the adult mental health support system aimed at ensuring people receive help and support much earlier to avoid crisis and the need for much more costly specialist treatment. So far around 800 people living with mental health concerns have benefitted from the 'new offer' of care and support.

Have you thought about getting involved? Why not look around our get involved section for more information – we want to hear from you.

Improving health services

We are always looking at new ways we can help improve health and wellbeing. At the beginning of the year we funded an innovative clinical intervention for children with physical disabilities such as hemiplegia. The intervention, Breathe Magic incorporates magic tricks into an intensive programme of therapy. It has a life-changing effect for the young people, who can subsequently perform everyday skills such as dressing or cutting up food by themselves for the first time in their lives, thanks to this magical intervention.

Work has continuing improving services for people living with Diabetes through our
Diabetes Modernisation Initiative. Lambeth and Southwark are now ranked 8th and 9th on blood glucose control for their diabetic patients. Additionally there has been a sharp fall in emergency admissions for diabetes in the under 65s, and GP initiated referrals to hospital continue to decline as individuals are better supported in general practice and in their own management of their care. A Diabetes Patient Forum has been established and worked for over two years to improve local services, help patients manage their condition and engage people about diabetes in our communities. Among other achievements, it has brought about improvements in foot care, fed-back patient experiences of GP practice care and helped design patient information packs. The Forum has now formally affiliated within Diabetes UK linking it with a network of 400 similar groups across the UK.

During the past year, the Southwark and Lambeth Integrated Care programme has focused on care for older people and people with long-term conditions. The Older People’s Programme works with local people, clinicians and professionals to improve the services people aged over 65 receive, so that they experience joined-up care, with less unnecessary time spent in a hospital or care home, and more time receiving care where they want it: in their home or local community. Over the last year over 2,500 people have had their care supported with enhanced nursing, therapy and social care support in community so they do not need to be in hospital.

Next year we will be focusing on improving the advice and treatment all Lambeth residents receive from a GP or pharmacy. We want to make it easier for everyone to access and more joined up with other NHS services. We will be working alongside our neighbouring CCG in Southwark. We are also developing our plans for children’s services; our goal is to help children stay healthy so they don’t end up in hospital.

Improving quality

One of our main responsibilities is to respond to feedback from patients and carers to continually drive up the quality of care. This includes implementing the Department of Health recommendations following the Francis report. In October we held a Quality Summit in partnership with Healthwatch Lambeth and health service providers to open up some difficult but important discussions. The main purpose was to consider how we can as individuals, groups, organisations, providers and commissioners work together better to improve the quality of health services in Lambeth. Since then we have updated the Lambeth Commissioning for Quality Framework and updated our definition of ‘quality’ to reflect the shared importance of communication and partnership working between commissioners, providers, user and carer groups and members of the public.