Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the most common questions about integrated working and our Hillingdon Accountable Care Partnership.

What is an Accountable Care (ACP) Partnership?

An ACP is an alliance of NHS providers that work together to deliver integrated care for patients. These providers may include hospitals, community services, mental health services and GPs. Social care and independent third sector providers may also be involved. ACPs are accountable for the delivery and quality of the care they deliver, and often work together to develop new ways of integrated working.

Who makes up the Hillingdon ACP?

In Hillingdon our ACP is comprised of four main provider partners who have given their  commitment to work together to form a Hillingdon based ACP that will deliver an integrated care service for older people. The service is commissioned by Hillingdon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). 

The key partners are:

  • The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (THH)
  • Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL), 
  • H4All CIC, a federation of voluntary sector partners – Hillingdon Age UK , Harlington Hospice, DASH, MIND Hillingdon and Hillingdon Carers
  • The Hillingdon GP 
  • Together as an ACP we are the Hillingdon Health and Care Partners

Are any others involved?

Yes. Hillingdon Council’s social services team is involved in the partnership and other groups and organisations will come on board as it develops in the months and years ahead. 

What does our partnership in Hillingdon aim to achieve?

We work to join up the care we deliver for older people in Hillingdon. Our partners are working together, pooling resources to design and deliver more effective and integrated pathways of care for people. The aim is to improve the quality of people’s experience and outcomes of their care in our services, remove barriers and reduce duplications and time delays. There is a focus to deliver as much care as we can locally to where people live in a co-ordinated way.

What are the ACP’s goals?

We aim to:

  •  Address individual needs in a holistic way
  • Offer more care in the community and in people’s homes rather than in acute hospitals
  • Invest in prediction, prevention, early intervention and out of hospital services
  • Join-up services across organisations and across care settings
  • Adopt evidence based care pathways
  •  Concentrate acute services to enable delivery of care in the most appropriate place
  • Provide better overall value for money, reducing duplication and making sure the right skills are directed to the right needs.

Does it look after all older people?

No. At the moment we focus on over 65 year olds, living in the borough of Hillingdon. 

Our first target group is older people in the borough who are nearing the end of their life. We have identified those services which are provided by the four current partners which we want to put at the core of our re-design. We are in the process of involving staff, patients and carers in how we can work together to re-design services to make them more effective. This may involve moving resources from one area to another but because we are all partners this should make this easier to do. 

How much is it costing and where is the money coming from?

Around £90 million is spent each year by the Hillingdon organisations on older person care. In future this money will be pooled by the key partners so it can be used more effectively.

Why do things need to change?

At the moment care of older people can often be fragmented; different services are delivered by different organisations with older people getting passed from one to another. This means they often have to repeat information many times and this can cause frustration, confusion and even delay treatment or care.

We will be able to provide a more seamless service for patients by joining together all the key organisations involved in their care.

If you work with older people we hope you will be interested in seeing how we can do things better for them. 

Will it affect my job or my terms and conditions?

No. There will be no changes to your terms and conditions and you will still be employed by the same organisation. However you may increasingly be required to work in different ways, in particular you might be asked to work more across traditional organisational boundaries than previously.

Are there any examples of this new way of working? 

Yes. In Hillingdon we currently have hospital-employed geriatricians working out in GP practices offering specialist support to GPs and community staff. There are also therapists and community nurses working in multidisciplinary teams in more multi-skilled roles. 

There are also examples elsewhere in the country where this kind of joined-up working is bringing great benefits for patients.

In the near future we want to look at how we might integrate more with community pharmacists, nursing homes and social care so that patients have care plans that joinup services for them and feel less fragmented.

How is this way of working better for patients?

The partners share patient information so patients only need to tell their story once. Their care is more seamless; they won’t have to make contact with lots of different organisations for health and care support, we will do that for them. It will remove some of the worry and mean their care is better coordinated.

What happens next?

A clinical design group, made up of clinicians and managers from all of the partners is currently re-designing care pathways. Once these have been developed they will be discussed with wider staff groups and tested out before being finalised. 

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