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12 July 2018

Happy 70th birthday NHS

Blog post: Happy 70th birthday NHS

As the NHS celebrates its 70th year, Lorna Carver, Director Dorset LEP writes about the exciting plans for healthcare in Dorset.

In this 70th celebration year for the NHS I have been reflecting on Dorset's part in this success story. I know that we are rightly proud of our caring, dedicated, effective and innovative health and care services. Dorset is also uniquely placed as a community centred region and is now embarking on an ambitious journey as an Integrated Care System to provide care closer to home. These are exciting times for the NHS in our region. 

I have talked to health colleagues (from Dorset CCG and Wessex AHSN) and this is what they say:

Dorset, jointly with Surrey Heartlands, are the two leading Integrated Care Systems (ICS) in the NHS and a beacon for integrated working across health and the local authorities in the south west. In Dorset this brings together acute hospitals, primary care, community care, mental health, ambulance, public health and local authorities under a single leadership team focused on place based care. 

ICS partners along with Bournemouth and Southampton universities and regional and national research bodies formed Research Active Dorset (RAD) to bring together all partners across the research network in Dorset. This body is the first of its kind to form across a full ICS and would be central to the development of world class research development across the system.  

Wessex, which includes Dorset, has been selected by NHS England as one of five UK regions to host a Local Health and Care Record Exemplar (LHCRE). This comes with £7.5m over two years. The LHCRE will join the existing integrated care records in Hampshire and Dorset to allow improved ‘care anywhere’ for patients, as well as predictive diagnostics and better planning of services right across Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. This successful application will be followed by a Wessex application to the Office for Life Sciences to host one of the proposed Digital Innovation Hubs. This will enable faster decision making and therefore, where appropriate, faster adoption of new technology. 

All of this has the potential to contribute to the perfect platform for bidding, in partnership with the health and care industry, for further new inward investment. This will then strengthen the place where we live, improving productivity while creating opportunities for Dorset to take part in providing a wider regional, national and international impact in tackling the challenges that come with caring for a growing ageing population. We are working in partnership on this now -  watch this space.

As I say - exciting times! Happy 70th birthday NHS, and many many more! 

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