Improving health and care for Sutton residents

A major plan to improve the health and care of residents in Sutton has been launched.

In Sutton, the local NHS, council, voluntary sector and Healthwatch have come together and formed Sutton Health and Care.  Over the past year we have been looking at what’s important for health and care in Sutton, what the local challenges are and how, by working more closely together, we can make a real difference to our local residents.

We have been reviewing Sutton’s health needs and our current services, listening to local people, and working towards shared priorities.  Together we have developed a joint Health and Care Plan to support people in Sutton throughout their lives. We want local people to “start well”, “live well” and “age well”. You can watch a short film about our plan here.

We were delighted to launch our Sutton Health and Care Plan at our AGM on 25 September 2019.  Our Plan sets out the healthcare priorities for our borough and details what our focus will be on over the next few years (2019 – 2024).

Initially, our priorities are to:

Start well

  • Improve young people’s mental health
  • Improve the support provided to parents of children with Special Educational Needs and Disability
  • Develop the universal offer to make sure all children are ready for school regardless of their socioeconomic status

Live well

  • Improve the specialist support provided for adults with learning disabilities
  • Improve how we encourage adults to make healthy lifestyle choices
  • Improve the support for people with both a long term physical and mental health condition

Age well

  • Improve how we combat loneliness and social isolation among older people
  • Improve how we support older people when they leave hospital

Dr Jeff Croucher, Clinical Chair, NHS Sutton CCG said:  “We want the people of Sutton to be as healthy as possible throughout their lives. Our Sutton Health and Care Plan brings together all our key partners, working to improve services and we are already seeing initiatives from the plan making a difference locally.

A great example of this is our Sutton Health and Care at Home service which, following its launch in July, has an integrated team of health professionals supporting people with care in their homes, keeping people out of hospital where possible and, if they do need hospital care, getting them back home as soon as possible with the best levels of care and support at home.  The service has received positive feedback from patients evidencing the quality of care, levels of respect and involvement in decision making. As a local GP I am already beginning to see the difference that better coordination of health and care can bring to individual patients lives and their families. This plan will further develop such an approach.”

Councillor Ruth Dombey, Leader of the Council, London Borough of Sutton said: The Sutton Health and Care Plan is transforming the way we work together as organisations providing health and care in Sutton.  It’s one of the most exciting things that I am involved with at the moment – it will really change the lives of people in our borough.

We are no longer talking to people about one aspect of their lives.  This is about getting involved early and moving out of our organisational silos and looking at the person in front of us and asking them what will help them to live a healthier happier more independent life.

I’ve been talking to staff who are involved and they are all saying the same thing – “this is why I wanted to get involved in providing health and care the first place”. They have said “this is empowering.  This is exciting and how we want to work to make people’s lives better.”

We have excellent partnership working already in our borough and we know that none of us can deliver transformative change on our own – we need to work closely together and I sincerely believe this will have a huge impact in Sutton.

Daniel Elkeles, Chief Executive, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust said:  Traditionally, in my organisation, we are used to looking after people in hospital when they become very unwell and helping them get better.  What the Sutton health and care plan is looking at what we can do to stop people becoming seriously unwell in the first place and how we could focus the resources we have locally in both the NHS and local authority by providing health and care in a different way to help people be healthier.

In Sutton, we are doing really well at joining our resources – we are already providing community health services and sexual health services through our innovative alliance, Sutton Health and Care, but this is just the start.  We want to look at all aspects of residents’ lives and we believe we need to work together as one team looking at the person and their whole life rather than just what healthcare or social care do they need.

What I have realised over the course of my career is that what people want is a health service that supports people to live a healthy life and not have to go to hospital.  Now we have an opportunity where we can work together locally to deliver the care that patients, their carers and the public really want.  I am really privileged to be part of something where, in a few years’ time, we could have made a huge difference to how people live and how healthy they are in Sutton.

Deliberative Event
The plan follows an event we held in November 2018 which brought together health and care frontline staff, local people and representatives from lots of different community organisations to talk about the kinds of things which no single organisation can achieve alone – like combating childhood obesity and supporting people with diabetes. Discussions were centred on whether we are focusing on the right areas for Sutton, and how to ensure the action we take has maximum impact for local people.

On the day, there was lots of energy, enthusiasm and fresh ideas in the room. It was clear that people were passionate about health and care in our borough and wanted to support us.

The ideas generated at the event have been used to develop the Sutton Health and Care Plan through the Sutton Transformation Board.