The first health and care symposium took place in October 2022. The focus of the event was to discuss an overall strategy for the integrated care system (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.

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. We asked...

  • 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. We asked...

  • 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. We asked...    

  • 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. We asked...

  • 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?