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Current Dudley Health and Social Care Landscape

Following the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan in 2019, there was a national requirement to develop long term Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STP) covering all areas of NHS spending in England and linking with all national strategic priorities for health. These are now known as Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) and were established on a statutory basis under the provisions of the Health and Care Act 2022.

Integrated Care Systems

Integrated Care Systems (ICS) are new partnerships between the organisations that meet health and care needs across an area, to coordinate services and plan in a way that improves population health and reduces inequalities between different groups. Each ICS consists of an Integrated Care Board - the successor bodies to Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and an Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) – a broader based body consisting of NHS and local government representatives.

Dudley Council is part of the Black Country ICS which includes the following Dudley health partners:

  • Black Country Integrated Care Board
  • Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust
  • The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust
  • West Midlands Ambulance Service
  • Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Health and Social Care Challenges

The government originally proposed that adult social care charging reforms would be implemented from October 2023, but in the autumn statement 2022 announced that the reforms would be delayed for 2 years. Impact of the potential reforms is not captured in this document in detail, however subsequent review of the Market Position and preparation for reforms once confirmed will be included in revisions as and when required.

The social care workforce is frequently described as being in crisis having lost staff in significant numbers following the pandemic and both care homes and care agencies have stated they are unable to compete with other industries to attract and retain staff.

With current cost of living challenges and reduced finances across the health and social care system, there is concern that care services will not be able to meet demand and sustain quality of care without significant investment and resources.

Market sustainability will therefore remain a priority and future market shaping, and opportunities will consider these issues. We will work with providers and system partners to ensure resources including financial resources are used to best effect and change the way we support people where required, to ensure they receive the right levels of support, this may include remodelling of services, disinvestment if appropriate and reinvestment in more efficient services to better fit future needs.

All investment funds for social care from government will be ringfenced for market sustainability.

We will continue to review our own practice, including the employment of strengths-based approaches and how we may use the council and or partners position and attributes to support the market, for example promotion of social care recruitment campaigns to support workforce across the market, improved use of systems and processes.