‘We will work together to make health and wellbeing better than any partner can do alone.’ This is our vision for Kent and Medway Integrated Care System, which brings together NHS, local authority and voluntary sector partners to make a significant difference, improving local services and supporting healthier living.

We know the wider determinants of health, for example education, housing, environment, transport, employment and community safety, have the greatest impact on our health. Variation in people’s experiences of health, care and these wider determinants result in health inequalities, which are preventable, unfair and unjust differences.

An interim integrated care strategy was published in December 2022 and set out a shared purpose and common aspiration of partners to tackle the full range of health determinants, working in increasingly joined up ways to improve health and address inequalities.

Since then, we have asked people, organisations and local partnerships to engage with us in shaping this final version. It has been refined through reflecting local priorities and work planned across Kent and Medway organisations to agree key system priorities.

This strategy, which is also the Joint Local Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Kent, sets our vision for our system and all partners will tailor its delivery to meet local need, making a difference to the lives of the people of Kent and Medway.

Against a backdrop of increasing demand and challenging financial times, we must change how we approach improving health and wellbeing and, as leaders in Kent and Medway Integrated Care System, we remain committed to our pledge.