Health and Care Partnership FAQs

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The Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Health and Care Partnership was established as a joint committee on 1 July 2022.

We have produced some frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help people understand what it is and how it will strive to improve health and care across our region and reduce health inequalities.

If you have a question about the Health and Care Partnership that is not included in our FAQs, please email: [email protected]

  • What does BLMK stand for?

    BLMK stands for Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes. The BLMK Health and Care Partnership is responsible for improving the health of the population in these areas, overseeing their health and care.

  • What are Integrated Care Systems?

    Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) are partnerships that bring together NHS organisations and social care services delivered by councils together with volunteer, community and social enterprise organisations to meet the health and care needs across a geographic area, coordinating services and improving population health and reducing inequalities in communities.

    The core purpose of an ICS is to:

    • Improve health and care outcomes
    • Tackle health inequalities
    • Enhance value for money
    • Support socio-economic opportunities

    For more information about the role of the BLMK Health and Care Partnership visit our web page

    For more general information about Integrated Care Systems visit https://www.england.nhs.uk/integratedcare/what-is-integrated-care/

  • What is an Integrated Care Partnership?

    An Integrated Care Partnership is a statutory joint Committee established by the four Councils in Bedford Borough, Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes and the Integrated Care Board. Healthwatch, the voluntary sector and NHS organisations are also members of the Committee. It sets the strategy for how the partnership want to see the health of the population improve and supports partnerships and integrated working at a system level.

  • What is an Integrated Care Board?

    An Integrated Care Board is a statutory NHS body that is responsible for developing the plan that implements the NHS services strategy that responds to the population health improvement strategy that is set by the Integrated Care Partnership.  It has taken on the current functions and budgets of the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and will have additional functions to the CCG such as for population health management, use of digital support and data to drive improved healthcare and responsibility for NHS people plan implementation at a system level.

  • What are Placed Based Partnerships?

    Place Based Partnerships operate in each of the four boroughs in Bedford Borough, Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes, aligned to Local Authority boundaries. The partnerships are made up of local NHS and social care partners working with Health Watch and other local partners such as the VCSE. They bring partners together to plan and deliver health and care services to improve the population’s health as close to home as possible.

  • What is a Health and Wellbeing Board?

    Health and Wellbeing Boards are statutory committees chaired by local authorities which bring together the NHS, local authorities and wider partners to develop strategies for local areas (places).  The strategies are based on the Joint Strategic Needs Assessments for each local authority area. There are four health and wellbeing boards, one in each local authority area:

    • Bedford Borough
    • Central Bedfordshire
    • Luton
    • Milton Keynes

    There will be a strong link between the four Health and Wellbeing Boards and the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Partnership (ICP), with the BLMK ICP looking across the four boroughs and identifying areas where working across BLMK to address specific issues would add value to work going on locally.

  • What are Provider Collaboratives?

    Provider Collaboratives are partners working together to deliver services across a wider geographic area than one place or local authority area.

  • How are Integrated Care Systems being funded?

    Integrated Care Systems are funded by NHS England in line with the NHS Mandate agreed by Government. Payments will then be made from the Integrated Care Board (ICB) to providers within the System in line with agreed contracts.

  • Is the Integrated Care Partnership part of the NHS?

    The Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) is a joint committee that is formed by the NHS Integrated Care Board and the four local authorities in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes.

  • Who is the Integrated Care Partnership accountable to?

    The Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) is accountable to both the Integrated Care Board (ICB) and the Local Authorities. The ICP is set up as a joint committee of the Local Authorities and the ICB.

    Each partner organisation within the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Health and Care Partnership will remain accountable for their individual statutory responsibilities.

  • Who leads the Integrated Care Partnership?

    The Integrated Care Partnership is a Joint Committee.  The Committee has appointed Cllr Tracey Stock to be its Chair and we are currently developing our approach for Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes.

  • How does the Integrated Care Partnership make decisions about health and care in our area?

    The Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) will develop an integrated care strategy and make decisions based on engagement and evidence of what works, local data and insights from people with lived experience of health and social services. Our Integrated Care Strategy will be developed with the Health and Wellbeing Boards in each geographic area.  The ICP will hold its meetings and take decisions in public.

  • How will the Health and Care Partnership improve my care?

    Across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) there are areas where people live shorter lives in poorer health.  The BLMK Health and Care Partnership will use population health data to better target resources, working together to join up services from health, social care, the voluntary sector and other local services to improve health and wellbeing for the population of BLMK.

  • What should the local population expect from the Health and Care Partnership?

    The Health and Care Partnership is dedicated to improving health and wellbeing, working with partners to build services with local people and join services together. Our job is to help people to live healthier lives for longer by tackling health inequality, supporting economic development, improving health and care services and delivering value for money. By working together and making the best use of our resources, we can do more and make a difference more quickly.

    Find out more about our strategic priorities

  • Does this change mean I will have to travel further away for care/treatment?

    The Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) Health and Care Partnership (HCP) is based on the principle that care is best delivered as close to people’s homes and within their communities as possible. There may be some occasions where care can be provided more effectively or efficiently in fewer, more specialised centres, but where the BLMK HCP or our partners are suggesting changes to local services they will ensure that local people are involved in shaping these decisions.

  • How many organisations are involved in the Health and Care Partnership?

    The Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Health and Care Partnership consists of 12 core partners including the four councils, two local hospitals, community care providers, mental health providers and ambulance service providers. For a full list of partners visit our web page.

  • Are voluntary organisations involved in the Health and Care Partnership?

    Yes, voluntary organisations are key partners of the Health and Care Partnership and we will be working collaboratively to deliver our priorities.

    A VCSE representative is one of the core members of the Partnership Board with other VCSE representatives being invited to participate in meetings as relevant to their areas of interest.

  • Is Health Watch involved in the Health and Care Partnership?

    Yes, Health Watch organisations across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) are key partners of the Health and Care Partnership and we will be working collaboratively to deliver our priorities.

    The four Health Watch organisations in BLMK are core members of the Partnership Board.

  • How can I keep up to date with the work of the Health and Care Partnership?

    We are keen to share the work we are doing across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes.

    You can attend our Integrated Care Partnership meetings after 1 July 2022.

    You can receive our regular stakeholder newsletter by joining our mailing list. To register, email [email protected] 

    You can also follow us on social media channels including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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