Introduction

Introduction

As lay partners (the term that the initial group of patients, service users and carers chose to describe ourselves) we are delighted to introduce the North West London Whole Systems Integrated Care Toolkit.

We have been full participants in the process of producing it, right from the star. We believe that if the vision of integrated care is to be achieved, it must become a social movement, led by people who use services, their families, carers and the public, and supported by staff at every level and in every setting of care, whether they are NHS, local authority, private or voluntary services providers.

I am convinced that the development of Whole Systems Integrated Care, alongside the implementation of Shaping a Healthier Future, is the only way forward, in the current economic environment, to provide a wholly joined-up system of health- and social-care for the population of North West London. I further believe that the work of Embedding Partnerships is essential in making sure that it is shaped to the long-term benefit and satisfaction of all sections of the community. I should very much like to be an influential part of that development

Michael Morton, Lay Partner Co-Chair of Embedding Partnerships

People are fed up with fragmented, inefficient care. We do not want to have to repeat our story to every health- or social-care professional we meet. We do not want a system that makes it hard for professionals to work together.

We do want to understand how to manage our own health and well-being. We want to be able to talk with other people who may have an impact on our health- and social-care - and be listened to. We want those people to talk to each other. We want to have access to our own data, be able to correct inaccuracies and have a say in who it is shared with.

We want professionals to have conversations with us as whole resourceful individuals, whose goals and priorities matter and who can take responsibility for managing our own health and well-being with appropriate support.

We recognise that there are barriers to making these changes and many of us are prepared to put time and effort into helping to design a better system. We want to co-produce changes to make joined-up health- and social-care run more smoothly for individuals and carers.

We provided input throughout for this toolkit. This chapter describes our journey, including the lessons we have learned. We recommend that professionals using the toolkit involve lay partners in co-producing solutions as equal partners from the start. In that way we have a better chance of achieving the vision, of care that is coordinated around the needs of individuals, carers and families: care that helps individuals to help themselves.

A poster of the lay partner manifesto, of the approach to co-design, some example lay partner profiles and a sample lay partner workshop programme can be found in the Supporting Material C: Embedding Partnerships Supplement.