Working Together Across Suffolk
Suffolk has a well-established culture of collaboration between partners across the County Council, District and Borough Councils, the NHS, voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) sector and other stakeholders. As such Suffolk as a health and care system is more integrated in terms of our working and service provision than many other areas of the country and has been held up as an area of good practice. The role of the Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board has been key to this.
This culture of collaboration has been further strengthened, deepened and widened by the development of the Integrated Care Systems in both Suffolk and North East Essex and Norfolk and Waveney. More locally, the development of the West Suffolk and Ipswich, East Suffolk Alliances and the Great Yarmouth and Waveney Local Delivery Group have provided a place based space for strategic and operational integration whilst continuing to develop and deliver services at scale pan Suffolk where appropriate. Relationships have also continued to build in an iterative fashion over the last six years since the development of the Health and Care Review which led to the development of our localities and integrated neighbourhood teams (INTs).
A Suffolk Devolution Deal was announced by Government in December 2022. This proposes stronger local leadership essential for delivering better local outcomes and more joined up public services. It will also provide a focal point for innovation and local collaboration, with local accountability. As set out in the Levelling Up White Paper, as a Level 3 devolution deal – the highest-level deal with the greatest powers – Suffolk will also have a directly elected leader.
Given this wider context, it is important that health and care leaders in Suffolk work closely together to take stock of the current integration agenda underway, discuss how this can be progressed to improve health and wellbeing outcomes, and take a wider view of integration beyond just health and care.
There are two Suffolk-wide forums that have been created to enable health and care leaders to work together with a pan-Suffolk perspective on thinking and planning around health and care.
Suffolk Health, Care and Education Strategic Planning Group
The aim of the Suffolk Health, Care and Education Strategic Planning Group is to develop closer and integrated working between Suffolk County Council (SCC), Suffolk and North East Essex ICS and Norfolk and Waveney ICS. The purpose of the Group is to seek opportunities and enact these as appropriate for pan-Suffolk and Alliance level integrated working between constituent organisations within the Group. The Group works closely with the existing place-based Alliances to ensure there is no duplication but rather the Group is there to add value. The expectation is there is two-way flow between the Alliances and the Group which is achieved through the Group membership.
Suffolk Health, Care and Wellbeing Strategic Co-ordination Group
It is important that we ensure that the roles of the different integration and collaboration forums for health and care operating across Suffolk dovetail and that they collectively enable high-quality, value-added collaboration between health and wellbeing partners across the whole of Suffolk, each adding value as part of dynamic system working.
The Suffolk Health, Care and Wellbeing Strategic Co-ordination Group brings together those managing the different forums on a regular basis to build relationships and to work together as one team
- To refine the respective roles and prevent duplication between different forums
- To align and co-ordinate the work of the different health and wellbeing collaborative forums across Suffolk
- To streamline meeting scheduling, date setting and membership between forums
- To streamline the process of agenda setting and meeting planning
- To ensure effective follow up of action logs – making sure that forward progress on actions is transferred appropriately
- To ensure that issues identified by stakeholders are raised in the most appropriate and effective forum.
A monthly meeting of leads from across the key Health, Care and Wellbeing Collaborative Forums is chaired by Sue Cook, Suffolk County Council with support for co-ordination from Susannah Howard, Suffolk & North East Essex ICP Director.