#TogetherWeCan shape the future of health and care

The health and care symposium took place on 27 October, bringing together leaders from the NHS in Kent and Medway, Kent County Council, Medway Council, district councils, the voluntary sector, community organisations and business partners to discuss how we can all work together to support people to lead healthier and happier lives. 

The health and wellbeing of everyone living in Kent and Medway is impacted by many things, such as housing, jobs, education and access to green spaces. 

Not all of these are influenced by services the NHS provides. To improve the health and wellbeing of everyone, we need to work together. We are better together.

ICS strategy

Work has started to create an overall strategy for the ICS. To recognise the wider determinants of health, the ICS strategy will dovetail with the strategies already developed by Kent County Council and Medway Council, reflecting the commitment to build a local economy to be more productive, sustainable and inclusive. 

The ICS strategy will also reflect a holistic approach to reducing inequalities, for example looking at social inclusion, community safety, wellbeing and housing. 

Another key element of the strategy will be to make sure young people get the best possible start in life and then the actions we need to take to keep people well.

Have your say...

Join the discussion and give your views on the four topic areas and questions outlined below at Have your say and help shape the future of health and care now and for the generations to come.

NHS Kent and Medway Chief Strategy Officer, Vincent Badu, introduces the Kent and Medway Integrated Care System.

Gathering insights into effective use of data, information and intelligence – local national, regional or international – will strengthen the way we deliver the objectives of our integrated care strategy – to improve the population’s health and wellbeing.

  • Where are we already using research, data, innovation well?
  • Do we have information on national, regional or international approaches that could inform our strategy?
  • What are the barriers to closer joint working between partners and how could they be overcome?
  • Where are new opportunities around research, data sharing and innovation that the system should explore?

We know taking action to support people in their communities, improving the physical environment where they live, addressing how safe they feel outside and how connected and included they feel in their community, has a significant impact on their mental and physical health. 

  • What are the people we work with concerned about?
  • What is already working? 
  • How can the new Integrated Care System add value to local work already taking place to reduce health inequalities?

Economic prosperity is a key driver of health and wellbeing and is fundamental to addressing inequality. Councils and other partners are the experts in planning for economic and social development. There is an opportunity through the Integrated Care System to make sure health and care play its full part in the economies of Kent and Medway. We can have the maximum effect on people’s health and wellbeing, for example as significant employers and owners of buildings.     

  • What are the key areas that would benefit from a system wide approach?
  • How do we bring together economic development and health and social care to reduce inequalities?
  • What are the opportunities for the NHS to work with partners to develop their social and economic impact to support the local economy? 

Much of what the health service deals with is a reaction to someone becoming ill. We know that giving children the best start in life and enabling people to take actions that help prevent them getting ill can be very effective. 

  • Are there any interventions that have made a big impact that the system could learn from?  
  • How should the councils, the NHS and their partners work together to shift the focus to prevention? 
  • How can we overcome barriers to prioritising early help and prevention?