Better Care Together for East Sussex

“Better Care Together for East Sussex” is our interim five year strategy

“Better Care Together for East Sussex” is our interim five year strategy.

Like many other NHS organisations we are looking forward and thinking about how, by working closer across organisational boundaries, we can meet future challenges and improve the health outcomes for the people that we serve in East Sussex.

The Health and Care Bill formalises structures and priorities that health and care partners in Sussex have already begun to work on:

Maintaining strong services while ensuring those worse off get better access to care

Considering how we most effectively provide services across East Sussex and Sussex

Maximising the role of technology to support our workforce

Members of staff along with NHS partners and colleagues in the local authority have been involved in shaping our interim five-year strategy “Better Care Together for East Sussex” which has been approved by the Trust Board.

Key elements to “Better Care Together for East Sussex”

Better Care – Improving health outcomes is central to the new Health and Care Bill, and we know that while many of us in the county enjoy reasonable standards of living and access to health, we want to bring those standards within reach of those living in the most deprived parts of the county. I was shocked at the difference in life expectancy between the most affluent and most deprived parts of the county. This is something we all have a stake in supporting.

Together – The scale of the improvements we want to achieve means that no single organisation can achieve this alone; we have to work closer and more effectively with our partners across all sectors; health, local government, the third sector and advocacy organisations.

East Sussex – It is about working with our partners we are collectively improving the outcomes for people across East Sussex.

Our strategic aims of “Better Care Together for East Sussex”

Our strategic aims are organised around four building blocks:

Improving the health of our communities

We will prioritise health outcomes for the people we serve. Given our demographics, this means an emphasis on older people’s services and a focus into those areas of our county where we know deprivation and poorer access to care is greatest. Covid has shown us that by using virtual and digital technologies we can help our patients using different approaches. Working smarter will be at the heart of how we develop our services to benefit our patients and service users.

Collaborating to deliver better care

We already work alongside health and care partners and this will become more important over the coming five years. Truly patient-focused services think about organisational interests last, not first. Our duty to collaborate will mean that when we plan our future, we will do this with more partners and patients involved in that process. We have built strong links with other providers and local authorities through our clinical work. In areas like primary care we know that we can build further with colleagues in General Practice to provide better care.

Empowering our people

We want to make ESHT a great place to work. This means strengthening our care and support for staff and ensuring we identify and develop our best and brightest. We know that if our people like working here that will show in the care we provide and the stories that patients and staff tell about ESHT. We want you to be proud to work here.

Ensuring Innovative and sustainable care

We recognise that “doing more of the same” is not going to be enough. Covid showed us that we can be better when we are bolder. We want to design future-focused ways of working and caring for our patients that we can take with us into the new, improved hospitals that we are planning for on the Eastbourne and Hastings sites as part of our Building for our Future programme.

These aims give a sense of what we want to prioritise and the sort of organisation we want to create; a great place to work that delivers excellent care across a wide range of the services we provide and where we work to support and enhance the services our patients need that are provided by others.

What ESHT will look like in 2026

The kind of ESHT we want to see in five years is one where our performance is one of the best. Where we are:

Providing excellent, high quality care for patients, with national recognition for at least one service area (frailty)

Recognised as a great place to be; for the quality of care we provide and the support we offer for our people

Prioritising our approach to green/sustainability issues – notably our footprint through Building For our Future

Developing new clinical roles and ways of working that are collaborative and innovative that reach across organisational boundaries

A digital-first way of working across our services, leading on Sussex-wide programmes of work

A financially sustainable organisation within a viable Sussex region

Why is “Better Care Together for East Sussex” an interim strategy?

We have always recognised the interconnections we have with other health and social care partners  and as the Health and Care Bill moves into law, there is marked shift towards collaboration and integration to drive improvements in outcomes. Local co-ordination of this will be led by the Integrated Care System for Sussex – the ICS – and although this body exists already, it will be formalised from April 2022.

Given this on-going change we need to be able to respond to any change in local priorities should that arise. Hence, our five year strategy is, for now interim, and we expect that it will be finalised by Spring 2022.

Better Care Together for East Sussex - Video by Joe Chadwick-Bell, Chief Executive

Our Priorities for 2021/22