Suffolk & North East Essex Integrated Care System

One Clinical Community

An Integrated Care System is all about people crossing multi-organisational boundaries in their journey of diagnosis, treatment and on-going management. As such, a strong common purpose that binds practitioners across the community becomes essential in attempting to simplify the processes needed and improve outcomes. This is what we mean by One Clinical Community and it is at the heart of the development of clinical leadership in Suffolk and North East Essex.

Our work builds on a background of increasingly inclusive training and local, collaborative leadership development, bringing together GPs and other primary care contractors, consultants from acute and mental health providers and public health professionals. The purpose of this has been to increase the capacity and capability of medical leadership in our system as a sustained community and not just as individuals. It facilitates sharing improvement opportunities through building better relationships.

The ICS currently offers the high impact One Clinical Community leadership development programmes for clinicians, managers, nurses, social workers and allied health professionals. These programmes are expressly designed to build a network of effective leaders who can together address the key challenges in the wider health and social care system. The programmes focus on skills but also on mindsets.

“From silo thinking to teams without walls; it’s all in the mindset.”
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“One of the greatest compliments given to the programmes was that participants felt that when they walked in the room with their colleagues there was not a sense of who they worked for organisationally, but that they were working together as one to improve their own working lives, that of their teams and that of their patients. All for one and one for all!”

They enhance mutual respect, highlight how our clinical skills complement each other and show how transferable those skills are to managing change in the teamwork environment, as well as in change in patients’ lives. Inclusion of senior clinicians in the decision making of organisations delivering healthcare is well known to optimise the quality of care outcomes for patients, improve patients’ experience and help manage cost too. Dissemination of leadership skills throughout clinical teams and their supporting management cements the link between senior leaders, the front line and the common purpose of the organisation.

Other developments have included, for example, initiatives to develop resilience in GP practice; practice nurse forums and nurse team learning opportunities; workshops to develop community mental health teams; and a leadership and innovation club to maintain the network of relationships already built. There is already evidence to suggest how such programmes and initiatives are directly enhancing patient care through improved care pathways across our community, not just in individual organisations. These include, for example, the musculoskeletal care pathway, the development of our Frailty Assessment Base and the ability of our General Practices to work collaboratively at scale.

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Suffolk & North East Essex Integrated Care System
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