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The way ahead for the partnership

14 May 2015

Bristol Health Partners Director David Relph on the partnership's new strategic direction, which will be launched on 12 June at the annual Health Integration Team conference.

For the past year I have been working with many people from inside and outside the partnership to set out our way ahead. This has involved reflecting on the time since 2012 when the partnership was established, considering how the environment in which we operate has changed and developed, and thinking about how Bristol Health Partners develops in a way that builds on our work so far, while also responding to how the context in which we work has changed.

The result is a new strategic intent and a plan for the next 12-18 months, which will be fully unveiled at the Health Integration Team conference on 12 June, as well as in our new annual review, which launches the same day.

Before that, I want to share an outline of our new strategy. Our mission, developed back in 2012, remains to generate significant health gain and improvements in service delivery in and around Bristol, by integrating, promoting and developing local strengths in health services, research, innovation and education. We can now articulate our purpose: to improve the health of those who live in and around Bristol and the delivery of the services on which they rely, and to act as a mechanism for change in our health and care community, and our city region.

Our shared vision is for those who live in and around Bristol to enjoy the highest possible quality of life and experience of care. We want our city and health and care system to be known for:

  • Equality of access, experience and outcome
  • Excellence of research
  • Promotion of innovation
  • Connectedness and collaboration

Our objectives are to deliver identifiable improvements across our local health community in:

  • Patient care and public health outcomes
  • Equity of access, provision and outcome
  • Translation of research into health practice

And to provide joint planning and coordination, including:

  • Developing a joint strategy for the integration of health care and translation of research into clinical and public health practice
  • Developing coherent responses as a community to national initiatives

I acknowledge that this is high level stuff - how, though, will we work to achieve these things? For me, the key development is that we now want the partnership to work explicitly on two levels. The first is the Health Integration Team model, which will remain at the heart of our work and provides focused engines of integration, bringing people together to address specific challenges or issues. The second is our macro role, acting as a platform for city region collaboration, ambition and coherence, addressing the broader challenges we all face. We will develop the latter over the coming months.

We will set up 3-5 year programmes looking at the workforce of the future and how we develop it in and around Bristol, better use of data in our health system and city, and addressing the challenge of sustainability, building on Bristol's status as European Green Capital 2015. Rest assured, none of the work in these programmes will seek to replicate things that are already going on; we will use these programmes to connect existing work and to address the gaps that there are sure to be in the way we work together on these three broad and challenging areas.

In summary then, our key themes in the next 12-18 months will be:

  • Broadening engagement and raising the profile of the partnership and city region.
  • Developing the Health Integration Teams.
  • Developing three strategic programmes in:
    • Our future health and care workforce.
    • Using data better.
    • Health and care as a leader in sustainability.

The detail behind these headlines will be in our annual review, which we're publishing next month, as well as on the website, and will be presented at our Health Integration Team conference. I look forward to collaborating with many of you on this exciting, and challenging, programme of work.

The way ahead for the partnership
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