Children and Young People’s Priority in the new Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System
Summary by P2H Co-Investigator Mary Barker, Professor of Psychology and Behavioural Science at MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Centre and University of Southampton. She has a longstanding interest in adolescent psychology and reducing health inequalities for young people, and brings skills in research methods and qualitative data analysis.
On 23rd January, I attended my first meeting of the task and finish group for delivering the Children and Young People’s Priority in the new Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System.
Integrated care systems (ICSs) are partnerships that bring together NHS organisations, local authorities and others, including the police and fire service and voluntary organisations, to take collective responsibility for planning services, improving health and reducing inequalities across geographical areas. Following the passage of the 2022 Health and Care Act, ICSs were formalised as legal entities with statutory powers and responsibilities, strengthening the informal partnerships that had existed in many areas in one form or another for some years. ICSs comprise integrated care boards (ICBs) that are responsible for planning and funding most NHS services in the area, and integrated care partnerships (ICPs) that bring together a broad set of system partners as listed above to develop a health and care strategy for the area.
The aims of ICSs is to:
· improving outcomes in population health and health care
· tackling inequalities in outcomes, experience and access
· enhancing productivity and value for money
· helping the NHS to support broader social and economic development.
The Hampshire and Isle of Wight ICP has decided that children and young people are one of their five priorities for the next five years. The job of the task and finish group that I am part of is to decide on how best to improve outcomes for children and young people served by the ICS and how to deliver effective services for them. We are at the early stages of determining how best to do this but a clear focus of activity is going to be increased, co-ordinated support for children and young families in the first 1000 days of life. The focus on this lifecourse stage builds on world-leading research carried out in Southampton over the last 40 years into the developmental origins of health and disease, a field pioneered by Southampton medical researchers. Work we are currently doing in multidisciplinary teams in SIAH across the university extends this focus into the adolescent lifecourse phase working in partnership with them to create better futures and improve their long-term health and well-being. Outcomes from this work are also being fed into the planning of services delivered by the ICS. Prof Joanna Sofaer and I are also members of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight ICP.
This is a truly exciting opportunity for the University of Southampton to be instrumental in shaping services for children and young people across the region for the next five years and into the future.