One Croydon, a partnership between the local NHS, Croydon Council and Age UK Croydon, has today launched a new five-year plan to support residents to stay well for longer by making services more accessible in the heart of their communities.
The Croydon Health and Care Plan outlines a fresh vision for how health and social care will be delivered across the borough, particularly for those with the greatest need, to transform the health and wellbeing of local people.
The plan emphasises three clear priorities:
1. Focus on prevention and proactive care: supporting people to stay well, manage their own health and maintain their wellbeing by making sure they can get help early.
2. Unlock the power of communities: connecting people to their neighbours and communities, who can provide unique support to stay fit and healthy for longer.
3. Develop services in the heart of the community: giving people easy access to joined up services that are tailored to the needs of their local community.
The Health and Care plan builds on a number of successful schemes already in place in Croydon, including social prescribing, which makes it easier for GPs and nurses to connect people with a range of non-clinical services – everything from Bollywood dancing to cooking lessons – to help improve the emotional, mental and general wellbeing of people suffering from conditions such as depression and anxiety.
The Personal Independence Coordinator scheme exemplifies the borough’s person-centred approach, supporting people with long term conditions to stay out of hospital by providing a link between the NHS, council and voluntary sector.
In addition to a focus on locality-based care, the Health and Care plan outlines proposals for Croydon’s acute and mental health trusts. At present, more than 40% of the budget spent on hospital care is on patients attending hospitals outside Croydon and leaders believe at least 17% of this treatment could be delivered by Croydon Health Services. We seek to enable patients to be treated closer to home and it would support our local hospital trusts, making them more financially sustainable providers of excellent care locally.
Councillor Jane Avis, Croydon Council’s cabinet member for families, health and social care, said:
“Croydon has a growing population, which means an ever-greater demand for health and care services. We have already introduced better practices to support people to live longer, healthier lives, but some health inequalities still remain. People in more affluent areas are living longer than those in poorer areas, with men in Fieldway expected to live 13 more years less than those in Sanderstead. Two thirds of adults are obese or overweight, one in eight adults smoke, and more than 20% of the population has two or more long term conditions. The Health and Care plan will enable our dedicated health and care workforce to better respond to these challenges and to further improve health outcomes for all residents.”
The highly successful One Croydon alliance initially focussed on care for older people. In the first year of the partnership there was a six percent reduction in unplanned hospital admissions amongst over-65s at a time when unplanned admissions across the total population had risen. The alliance has now expanded its scope to provide more joined-up care for people of all ages.
Dr Agnelo Fernandes, a local GP and Clinical Chair of NHS Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
“The vision outlined in the plan is actually very simple: we want to support people to stay well, and for those who need care we want to offer the right services in the right places, making them as easy as possible to access. In many cases there is no one organisation that can solve every challenge a person is facing – we must all work together.”
“Over the next two years we will bring our organisations together to form integrated care networks, providing services tailored to meet each local community’s needs, sharing best practice and resources to reduce duplication.”
Councillor Louisa Woodley, Chair of the Croydon Health and Wellbeing Board, said:
“The only way we can make meaningful and sustainable change and improvement is by working together and putting services back into the heart of the community. Over the last year we have had fantastic engagement and input from residents, representatives from our strong voluntary sector, as well as leaders and front-line staff from our local NHS and social care services. The Health and Care Plan reflects what they have told us and includes ambitious goals for the future of care in our borough.”
Kate Pierpoint, Age UK Croydon, said:
“This plan builds on a strong track record of partnership working in our borough. We know that by bringing together representatives from health, social care and the voluntary sector we can provide a more holistic, person-centred service. The Personal Independence Coordinator service aims to help residents manage their conditions independently to reduce hospital visits and we now have 18 full-time coordinators working across the borough.
“We must continue to harness the power of these partnerships and also support people to connect to their neighbours and communities – who often have the skills and resources to help people stay well and take control of their own health.”
Dr Nnenna Osuji, Medical Director for Croydon Health Services, said:
“We are committed to working with our partners to provide the best care for those who need it and to support people to get out of hospital as soon as possible with the help of community services who can assist them to live independently. Earlier this year we announced plans to align more closely with colleagues at Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group and this partnership is already delivering real benefits to patients – reducing duplication and providing more seamless, joined-up care.
“Our closer partnership aims to help more residents live and stay well, supporting them to remain independent and to choose how they manage their care, with high quality services available when they need treatment. Over the next two years we will review and redesign our clinical pathways to increase efficiency even further.”
David Bradley, CEO of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust said:
“Improving the mental health of people in Croydon is central to this plan. It details how, in the next two years we will focus on supporting people to stay well, and importantly, preventing them from becoming acutely unwell in the first place. This is important as we know admissions for mental health conditions for under 18s are higher in Croydon compared to London and the national average. It is key we reach these people as early as we can, and give them the care they deserve.
“One Croydon brings together local partners who can achieve the ambition to change the lives of the people who live in Croydon. Working this way, we will be able to address all the factors which affect people’s mental health from housing to the way they access their GP.
“We are excited to be part of this partnership and are looking forward to providing more joined up care for local residents of all ages.”
Dr Yusuf Rajbee, Chair of the Croydon GP Collaborative and local GP said:
“Croydon GPs are committed to working collaboratively within the recently formed Primary Care Networks and with our multi-disciplinary, multi-agency colleagues in the One Croydon alliance and additional voluntary sector partners. We aspire to the delivery of excellent general practice at the heart of every Croydon locality, within an integrated system supporting the health and wellbeing of every resident.”
Edwina Morris, Chair of Healthwatch Croydon, said:
“We very much welcome the publication of this new plan which demonstrates the shared vision and partnership approach of all those involved to improve health and wellbeing in Croydon. In devising this plan it has been important to involve the people of Croydon, giving them opportunities to share their experiences and their views. By working together with Healthwatch Croydon and other local organisations, One Croydon’s partners have shown their commitment to this to ensure that patient experience helps shape services. As the plan published today develops into detailed reality, the conversations with residents need to continue, to ensure their voices are heard, and so it is good to know that plans for further patient involvement are being prepared.”
Croydon’s Health and Care Plan and summary are available to read here
Watch the video about how the Plan will improve health and social care services in Croydon – here