Berkshire West

A doctor talking to a familyThe Berkshire West integrated care system includes Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the acute Royal Berkshire Hospital and Berkshire Healthcare foundation trusts, and providers of GP services in four locality or neighbourhood ‘alliances’. The system covers a registered population of approximately 528,000 residents in Reading, West Berkshire and Wokingham.

Through what is known as the Berkshire West 10 Integration Programme, the system works closely with South Central Ambulance Service Foundation Trust and the three local authorities in the area: West Berkshire Council, Wokingham Borough Council and Reading Borough Council. The local government chairman of this parallel programme has a seat on the integrated care system leadership group to ensure the two programmes are mutually supportive.

The integrated care system is based on voluntary collaboration founded on the principle of reaching joint consensus. The CCG governing body and the foundation trust boards remain the statutory decision-making bodies. An integrated care system unified executive group, including all partner organisations, has responsibility for delivering the programme of work and for monitoring and reviewing the financial performance of the integrated care system and its constituent organisations.

The Berkshire West NHS organisations perform well against a set of national benchmarks including non-elective admission rates and are leading on innovative approaches to improving clinical care and patient experience in areas such as diabetes, stroke, and improving access to psychological therapies.

Despite this, the local health and care system is facing a number of significant challenges including a growing elderly population, increasing demand for services, the development of new treatments and issues with staff recruitment and retention.

The vision

The partners aim to create a new environment of collaboration between health and social care organisations to improve services for the local population. They want to ensure that the population’s health and experience of healthcare services continues to improve.

The partners want to:

  • Make faster progress in transforming the way care is delivered, as set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View, in particular making tangible progress in urgent and emergency care reform, strengthening general practice and improving mental health and cancer services.
  • Manage improvements within a shared financial control total and deliver the system-wide efficiencies necessary to manage the local NHS budget.
  • Operate as an integrated health system, keeping people healthier for longer and reducing avoidable demand for healthcare services.
  • Demonstrate what can be achieved with strong local leadership and increased freedoms and flexibilities, and share learning with the wider NHS

What this means for local people

The Berkshire West system aims to ensure that:

  • People are supported to take care of their own health and well-being;
  • Care is provided closer to home, wherever appropriate;
  • Clinical pathways are better integrated across providers to improve patient experience;
  • The capability and capacity of primary, community and social care is increased to provide multidisciplinary ‘wrap around’ co-ordinated care that efficiently meets the patient’s needs;
  • The system has a better understanding of the clinical needs of the population and maximises the opportunity to prevent ill health, and to intervene early to reduce the need for more intensive on-going care;
  • It has a high quality, fit for purpose acute and specialist hospital service;
  • It has a shared quality strategy with system-wide approach to the delivery and monitoring of quality;
  • It operates to a single budget for the whole health care system, making the most effective use of the Berkshire West pound and delivering financial sustainability;
  • Staff and workplace wellbeing is improved, and a sustainable and highly skilled health and care workforce is built in Berkshire West.

The changes being made

Case study

Integrated Pain and Spinal Service

The Integrated Pain and Spinal Service (IPASS) was shortlisted for an HSJ Award in 2017. It offers a unique, integrated and collaborative approach to persistent pain management. Patient feedback has included: “I think IPASS has been excellent. I’ve been very impressed with how quickly I can access the service, how friendly people were, and the programme itself. I’m very positive about the future.” and “It really was a revelation because after 10 years or more of having had this condition it was the first time I felt I’d met any health professionals who understood the nature of the condition and what it was really all about. One of the great things about IPASS is that it’s taking place in the community, outside a hospital setting.”

Watch a video about the service with comments from patients and health professionals.

Find out more about the changes being made locally to deliver their vision.

Looking ahead

Find out about the projects that will be happening in 2018/19 to help the integrated care system deliver on its ambitions.


You can get in touch with the integrated care system in the following ways: