Surrey health and care organisations sign devolution pledge

Local and national health and care organisations have signed an agreement to improve health and social care in Surrey Heartlands.

The agreement sets out a roadmap towards devolution, outlining how partners will work together to improve the health outcomes of the 850,000 people living in Surrey Heartlands; which covers the area looked after by Guildford & Waverley, North West Surrey and Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Groups. It also means more local accountability for the spending of health and social care budgets.

New shadow working arrangements will be put in place this year, with a commitment by all partners to further explore the areas where devolution could make an important difference from April 2018.

The agreement signals the beginning of a longer journey with an intention to:

  • Accelerate the integration of health and social care through much closer working between partners
  • Increase public engagement and the involvement of the people of Surrey Heartlands around the transformation of health and social care
  • Increase local decision-making and flexibilities to achieve the best possible outcomes for the local population

The agreement has been signed by the national bodies NHS England and NHS Improvement, alongside Guildford and Waverley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), North West Surrey CCG, Surrey Downs CCG and Surrey County Council

Commenting on the signing of the agreement, Chief Executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens said:

“Surrey Heartlands is embarking on a ground-breaking plan to integrate healthcare which will mean better joined up services in place of what has often been a fragmented system that passes people from pillar to post.”

Chief Executive at Surrey County Council, David McNulty, said:

“This is a really significant step towards bringing together health and social care in our county and giving people better, more efficient services. I’m sure that it will give fresh impetus to our efforts to work as one team to make devolution a reality for the benefit of local residents.”

Surrey Heartlands Senior Responsible Officer  and Clinical Chair at Surrey Downs CCG, Dr Claire Fuller, added:

“As a practising GP, I have first-hand experience of the positive benefits for patients when health and social care are working well together.  We have to move towards a more joined up system, and devolution will help accelerate the good work that is already going on in Surrey Heartlands.”

Chief Executive of NHS Improvement, Jim Mackey, said:

“This agreement represents an exciting step towards better integrating health and care services in a way that makes better use of the collective funding and resources across the NHS and local government.

“NHS Improvement is committed to working with provider organisations to support them in breaking down artificial boundaries in organisation of care and designing services that best meet the needs of the local population.”