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Meet the team: Integrated Continuous Improvement Network South


  • Liane Jennings, NHS England
  • Kevin Johnson, NHS England
  • Jonathan Brook, NHS England
  • Jane Simmonds, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
  • Dave Sargeant, Local Government Association
  • Christina Smales, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
  • Claire Leandro, Local Government Association

Context: Integration of services and pathways across health and social care is a key priority in ensuring seamless care for patients, managing long term conditions and care needs effectively and ensuring best use of funding.  The direction of travel towards integration is supported by the introduction of the Department of Health and Social Care in 2018.  STPs, moving towards ICSs, are seen as the route to ensure local integration.  Within these systems there are multiple agencies and networks working to bring together systems and staff across health, social care and third sector, whilst engaging with patients and the public. 


NHS Confederation has recently advertised a number of fixed term posts to act as Regional Engagement Leads to establish and run regional networks to support the development of ICSs.


Idea: Our idea is to introduce local (STP level) networks to facilitate continuous service improvement in an integrated way, in order to improve care and support joined up working across ICSs.  Through sharing the good work already underway in existing groups in a co-ordinated way, ensuring support offers are used effectively across the system, sharing learning and experience from continuous improvement methodologies; identifying and sharing learning of what works and what doesn’t, providing peer support and opportunities for cross fertilisation, and allowing systems to act as critical friends to each other the networks will allow systems to fast track improvements and improve care for residents.


The network would bring together leads from local health and social care partners, across statutory and voluntary agencies and include patient/public representation.  It would draw upon support from local/regional teams from the Local Government Association, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, NHS Improvement, NHS England, NHS Confederation, the Academic Health Science Network, Health Education England and Public Health England.  The network would utilise industry quality improvement programmes and experts to share learning.  It would form part of a structure of wider groups and networks, utilising existing forums and identifying gaps where peer support or expertise was needed.


It is envisaged that all partners within the network would have an equal voice and cross sector working would allow opportunity to develop understanding of partner organisation ways of working, a ‘safe place’ to test ideas and an opportunity to improve projects/programmes through use of the expertise of other partners or those who have already tested ways of working.


These networks would support and feed into the work of the Regional Engagement Leads.


Expected Outcomes:  It is anticipated that the network will support:

  • Continuous improvement cycles

  • Peer support, peer review and benchmarking

  • Sharing what works and what doesn’t

  • Informing local strategy

  • Making things happen at local level

  • Improving care for local users/patients


The network would support implementation of national policy and guidance through closer and co-ordinated joint working across all sectors and will support systems in their journey to fully developed Integrated Care Systems, including:


Funding:  If our bid is successful the funding will be used to facilitate set up of networks for agreed STPs across South East and South West Regions.  Priority areas will be agreed through the Regional Out of Hospital Integrated Steering Group.  These Groups are attended by representatives from health and social care organisations.


This facilitation will support engagement across all partner organisations, development of ways of working and share learning across networks.  The Facilitator will need to be credible within health and social care landscapes and be able to influence engagement of senior personnel within partner organisations.


The facilitation will develop a ‘train the trainer’ method of sharing the methodology across further STPs to develop a sustainable future model.


It is expected that the facilitation would be short or fixed term support (a maximum of one year) to enable systems to develop relationships and networks, which would then be self-managing in the future.

How you can contribute

  • • Identification of existing networks within South East and South West Regions
  • • Engagement in network and peer support opportunities across South East and South West
  • • Trainers in QI methodologies


  1. Guest

    jane salazar 3 years, 6 months ago

    Interested in the networking aspect of your proposal. Would love to know more about the peer support element of this work and the 'Engagement in network and peer support opportunities across South East and South West' that you have mentioned

    1. Thanks for your interest Jane.  We are aware that there are existing networks in place and want to ensure opportunity to bring these together to allow networking and peer support across our systems, both within local areas and across the South.  We anticipate that if successful our Facilitator will be able to set up these networks to ensure shared learning and support the journey towards integrated services.

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