A new strategy to support healthier lives in Surrey

A new strategy to support healthier lives in Surrey

Councillor Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council and Chair of the Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Partnership

In Surrey we face a distinct challenge when it comes to supporting the health and wellbeing of local people. In a county which is often seen as wealthy and green, with better than average health outcomes (which is true in part), we also have areas of significant deprivation where life expectancy can differ by up to 11 years depending on where you live.

This makes our job as a health and care partnership – the Surrey Heartlands ICS – particularly challenging.  Working collectively – across public sector partners including health, social care and local government, the third sector, with our communities and others – our overall aim is to improve the health and wellbeing of local residents and reduce the gaps in access to care and health outcomes we know exist for many communities. 

Our new strategy – recently launched at our Surrey Heartlands Expo event at Surrey University in February – sets a clear framework for how we will improve health and wellbeing for residents and reflects what local people have told us is important.

This joint strategy, which builds on what we’ve already been doing, has three distinct ambitions; prevention and early intervention; how we can deliver services differently and more effectively – so it’s easier for people to access the care they need, when they need it; and those areas that will support us in achieving our vision, such as taking advantage of the best digital technology, having the right workforce and culture, working proactively with our communities and so on.

We know that if the NHS were to carry on working on their own, we could only improve people’s health outcomes by about 20%.  We can further influence another 30% through public health and changing people’s behaviours – what you eat and drink, whether you exercise and so on – but the largest impact, around 50%, comes from what we call the wider determinants of health - those broader socio-economic factors such as housing, poverty, cleaner air, employment and so on.  Which is why working together as an integrated care system – including local government colleagues and the wider third sector - is so important.  Quite simply, unless we all work together, we will never be able to improve people’s overall health outcomes effectively in the way we want to.

Importantly, this strategy also describes how we are starting to work more collaboratively and creatively with those communities with the greatest needs.  This commitment is based on strong evidence that to achieve lasting change for people, families and communities, it’s essential that communities themselves participate and take the lead.  Above all, it’s about nurturing new and different relationships between residents and the NHS, social care, local government and the third sector to truly understand and address those wider determinants of health.

Join us and get involved in helping to make Surrey a healthier place to live and work. 

Download a copy of the strategy and/or get in touch with us at syheartlandsicb.comms@nhs.net.

We’d love to hear from you.

Councillor Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council (ICP Chair)

Councillor Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council (ICP Chair)

Tim has held non-executive roles on a wide range of company boards as well not-for-profit boards in charities, education and in local government.  Tim is actively involved in the Charity sector as Vice President, and previous Chairman of Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, and formerly Chairman of Trustees for Working Families. He also chairs the Esher Sixth Form College Board. Prior to the changes that came in from 1st July 2022, Tim chaired the former Surrey Heartlands ICS Board.

Tim was Chairman-Elect and then formally become Chairman of the County Councils Network at the organisation’s September 2021 Annual General Meeting. CCN is a body representing 36 county and unitary councils, who collectively serve 25 million people and are responsible for £32bn of public spending each year.

Tim was first elected to Elmbridge Borough in 1999 and served Esher for 20 years. He was elected as Elmbridge Borough Council Leader in 2016, elected to Surrey County Council in 2017 and as Leader of Surrey County Council in 2018. He stood down as Leader for Elmbridge Borough Council and then as an Elmbridge Borough Councillor in 2019, to focus on his County Council responsibilities. As Leader of Surrey County Council, along with the CEO, he has set the organisation on a journey of transformation and championed a bold ‘Vision for 2030’ for Surrey and its residents, to make sure everyone in the community is supported, allowed to thrive and to make sure no one is left behind.