A UK centre of excellence for integrated community health care
NELFT is setting up Care City, a ground breaking research, education and training and innovation site based in Barking, outer north east London.
Care City is a joint venture between NELFT and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.
The aim is for Care City to become a centre of excellence to help deliver better outcomes for local people and act as a catalyst for regenerating one of London’s most deprived regions.
Care City will also aim to improve the delivery of health and social care through innovation, integration and investment.
Care City will bring together health and social care professionals with researchers, education providers, technology experts, small and medium companies and social entrepreneurs to develop the workforce and healthcare products of the future.
It will also aim to create local employment for local people and will be a centre where research is conducted into frailty and long term health conditions.
Once established, the aim is for Care City to be a UK centre of excellence for integrated community care.
It will provide the environment for innovators in health, social and voluntary sectors, entrepreneurs and industry to collaborate to improve health outcomes and quality of service.
Businesses from the private sector are also potentially coming on board to offer support and expertise.
The need for Care City
The way we currently deliver health and social care is unsustainable. In particular demographic pressures, the changing burden of disease and rising patient and public expectations are driving the need to integrate and innovate.
It is well documented that we must make greater use of wider health and social care partners to deliver care for patients, reduce waste, reduce unscheduled hospital admissions, prevent avoidable illness and promote a healthy lifestyle for the general public within communities.
Long term conditions
The need to improve the management of long-term conditions, including dementia, is one of the most important challenges currently facing the sector.
In England, more than 15 million people have a long term condition, and this figure is likely to increase over the next 10 years.
Long term conditions include high blood pressure, depression, dementia and arthritis. Long term conditions can affect many parts of a person’s life, from their ability to work and have relationships to housing and education opportunities.
Care of people with long term conditions accounts for 70 per cent of the money we spend on health and social care in England. People with long term conditions and co-morbid mental health problems disproportionately live in deprived areas and have access to fewer resources of all kinds. The interaction between co-morbidities and deprivation makes a significant contribution to generating and maintaining inequalities.
While previous short-term fixes attempts to the existing models of care have brought us time. The scale of the challenges we now collectively face means that we needed to create a much bolder approach to shifting in where and how care is delivered.
Steve Feast, NELFT executive medical director leading on Care City, said: “With the health and social care sector facing remarkable challenges as the population increases and ages, it is recognised that innovation and service redesign are essential if we are to continue to deliver world class health and social care services.
“We aim to make Care City a centre of excellence innovating how community care is delivered which will be recognised across the UK and internationally.”