There is nothing so constant as change ….

Yesterday I attended an NHS Conference on the proposed Integrated Care Systems. In a cold room at the Stadium of Light (sort it out Sunderland) I shared a day with around 60 colleagues from the NHS, CCGs and Local Authorities and one from the VCSE – Jane Hartley who is leading on this for VONNE.

The session was led by consultants from Price, Waterhouse, Coopers who (a) ignored all timings and agenda and (b) seemed pretty clued up on the ICS Programme but were surprised that we in the North East could gather in a room to discuss things – apparently no other area has held a meeting like this.

The transformations being proposed under the STP for the North East and Cumbria – that’s Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, not Plan any more – were well aired and how to integrate services was the main theme of discussion.

The day was full of presentations that we will share on the Catalyst website eventually and give specific detail about the many aspects of integration. Jane’s VCSE presentation was squeezed in late and she did a good job in fighting our corner.

During discussions, I was again heartened by the positive engagement with our CCG, NHS Trust and local authority about how the VCSE in Stockton-on-Tees may become further involved. I look forward to being able to arrange development and co-production sessions for our sector to put our ideas for delivery within the new configurations.

During the course of the day the following article popped up on The Guardian website which seems to say it all really and I urge you all to read it. We should then use our local examples in convincing others of our role in delivering health to a wide population.

Steve Rose

Chief Executive, Catalyst Stockton-on-Tees

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