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We are creating a system across Sussex that aims to ensure better health and care for all now and in the future.

Our ambition is for is for every person living in Sussex to have access to the best health and care from the moment they are born and throughout their lives.

We want:

  • People to live for longer in good health
  • To reduce the gap in healthy life expectancy between people living in the most and least disadvantaged communities
  • People’s experience of using services to be better
  • Staff will feel supported and work in a way that makes the most of their dedication, skills and professionalism
  • The cost of care to be affordable and sustainable in the long term

To help achieve this ambition, health and care organisations have increasingly worked in partnership over the last few years to improve the health and care of our populations.

A significant amount of work has taken place behind the day-to-day frontline delivery of services to focus on how we can develop a ‘system’ that enables our organisations and services to work in a more joined-up, collaborative, and integrated way for the benefit of local people.

It is recognised nationally that the way people have received care in the past has been too fragmented and the way our health and care system has traditionally worked has meant our organisations have worked in competition, rather than in partnership, with one another. This has at times resulted in unnecessary delays in care and treatment, has negatively impacted on patient experience, caused inefficiencies in terms of time, energy and resource, has exacerbated inequalities across communities, created unnecessary variations in care, and created counterproductive actions that positively effects on parts of the system at the expense of another.

In addition, the health and care needs of our populations have changed. People are now living longer, many with multiple and complex health and care needs, the way people want and need to access services is continuously changing, and we have wide and long-standing health inequalities across our different communities.

To respond and address these issues and challenges, our health and care organisations have been working as part of an Integrated Care System (ICS) since 2020, which has represented a partnership way of working that has encouraged greater collaboration, integration and joined-up thinking.

This has helped shift away from competition and siloed organisational working towards a greater focus on system-wide joined-up working that aims to improve outcomes and focus on every aspect that affects the health for our communities.

We now have an opportunity to formalise and accelerate the partnership working to further improve health and care for our populations.