2019 – 2020

Building the foundations for a place-based, integrated approach to health and care in Hounslow.

The Backdrop

Successive reforms in NHS England have aimed to create closer integration of place-based health and care services, most recently through the establishment of Integrated Care Systems. ICSs are an acknowledgement of the wide range of factors that keep people healthy and are designed to foster collaboration in healthcare and other local services.

In 2019, the London Borough of Hounslow asked Collaborate and the Innovation Unit to support the development of the then titled Integrated Health and Care Partnership. The Partnership brought together the Council, NHS bodies and the voluntary sector, and Collaborate led work designed to strengthen effective foundations for collaboration among these partners: a recognition of the maturity of their partnership, a stronger sense of shared purpose, a broad lens on the determinants of health and well-being, and better relationships among senior leaders. The Innovation Unit led a complementary workstream engaging with frontline staff to support progress on collaborative projects already underway.

What we did

Collaborate developed a framework for place-based health, which identified and described eight foundations for a collaborative and cross-sector approach. 

Based on this framework, we led interviews with over 20 local stakeholders from across the system, from senior leaders to clinicians. Our goal was to understand perspectives on the integrated care agenda and partnership-working for people in different organisations and levels of the health and care system. We used these insights to establish a clear picture of the current maturity of the partnership’s work. The insights were shared and discussed with the Executive Group who then co-designed the next stages of the project, identifying priorities that would help the partnership build on progress.

Building on those insights, we facilitated workshops with the senior leaders with a focus on strengthening the key foundations for place-based health and care through developing a clear shared vision and strengthening relationships and trust through honest and personal conversations. Working with the Innovation Unit, these findings and insights were brought together with those from frontline staff to co-create a ‘Playbook’ for integrated health and care. The Playbook serves as a guiding resource for staff across all partner organisations in Hounslow.

Impact and Learning

We brought tricky issues into the room and enabled productive discussions among senior leaders, laying the foundations for both a collaborative mindset and practicalities involved for better working relationships and collaboration. We helped the partnership widen its lens from a relatively narrow focus on improving NHS services to a wider view of the determinants of health and prevention, while also strengthening action in the current workstreams. 

Collaborate is currently again working with the Partnership in 2022 on one of its newer priority areas: helping to shape the development of a new collaborative vision and whole system working to support children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) — including strengthening shared accountability, developing culturally-responsive support for young people and a building a more collaborative workforce.

Anna Randle, Collaborate CEO said, “We learned a great deal about place-based health and NHS reform and the different perspectives of NHS and local government leaders through this work. We enjoyed collaborating with the Innovation Unit, who brought great insights to the Playbook. We have since used the framework for place-based health in other projects, helping local leaders to identify and discuss the conditions they need to create for successful collaboration at a local level.”

The ICP (Integrated Care Partnership) is really motoring and is in a completely different place now. Collaborate’s work really contributed to this.

Niall Bolger