A new strategy to support healthier lives in Surrey Heartlands | News centre

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A new strategy to support healthier lives in Surrey Heartlands

The Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership has recently launched a new strategy setting out a clear framework for improving health and wellbeing for local residents.

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

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 – known as 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.


The strategy has three distinct ambitions; prevention and early intervention; how health and care services can be delivered 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 the partnership to achieve their vision, such as taking advantage of the best digital technology, having the right workforce and culture, working proactively with our communities and so on.

Surrey Heartlands Chief Executive, Professor Claire Fuller continues:

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 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.


The strategy also describes the importance of working 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. 

Ian Smith, Chair of the NHS Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Board concludes:

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.  And importantly making the whole system work around individuals and families, so it’s really clear to people how to seek the help they need, when they need it, and to avoid them being passed from organisation to organisation as often happens now.


For more information, please read our strategy and watch a short supporting film.


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