Agenda item

Sussex Health and Care Partnership Winter Plan 2020-21

The purpose of this paper is to provide the West Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board with an update on progress to date in relation to winter planning, outlining the next steps and timelines.


The Health and Wellbeing Board is asked to review and comment on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership Winter Plan 2020-21 Update.




6.1   Izzy Davis-Fernandez, Head of Resilience, Sussex CCG and Pennie Ford, Executive Managing Director West Sussex CCG provided the Board with a report and presentation that updated on the progress to date in relation to winter planning, outlining the next steps and timelines.


6.2   It was reported that place based plans were being developed by Local A&E Delivery Boards (LAEDB) with input from partners – local authority, providers and commissioners – across each system. The Work undertaken locally would form the basis of a single Sussex wide plan, which provided an opportunity to:


       Minimise duplication in local plans for key areas e.g. communications plans; and

       Include LAEDB specific requirements to meet the needs of the local population i.e. plans from Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and West Sussex Local Authority.


It was acknowledged that the overall purpose of the winter plan to ensure that the system was able to effectively manage the capacity and demand pressures anticipated during the Winter period to 31 March 2021.


6.3   For 2020/21, the planning process had also considered the impact and learning from the current Covid-19 outbreak as well as planning for further possible outbreaks. As such, it was pointed out that the capacity and demand modelling, surge escalation triggers and overall response would require review and ongoing refinement as further learning emerges over coming weeks and months. 


6.4   Board Members noted a number of Key areas of the plan. One of these was to ensure that acute hospital bed occupancy is maintained at a level that ensures that patients who require admission to a hospital bed are able to be admitted in a timely way, thereby avoiding the risk of overcrowding in A&E and delays to ambulances being able to handover patients and respond to 999 calls. Other areas were;


·       System capacity and demand modelling – including the combined impact of COVID-19 and winter activity,

·       Primary Care, Social Care,

·       Community Services,

·       Acute hospital plans,

·       Mental Health 999 and NHS 111 – including 111 First Business Continuity,

·       Impact of EU Exit,

·       Severe weather planning,

·       Winter Communications and Engagement,

·       Enhanced capacity requirements to meet the Christmas and New Year period 24th December -7th January 2020

·       System Pressure monitoring and escalation response, risks to delivery and mitigating actions.


6.5  Board Members were informed that lessons learnt from Winter 2019/20 had been incorporated into the plan for 2020/21.  It was recognised that Winter 2020/21 would be a challenging period with the combined impact of ‘normal’ winter activity, potential influenza and norovirus activity exacerbated by the ongoing threat of further Covid-19 peaks. Plans were focussed on mitigating these challenges, building upon existing arrangements in place, and  maintaining a focus on patient safety. The ongoing development of a whole system approach to capacity and demand planning for winter was acknowledged as significantly strengthening the response.


6.6   In receiving the report, the Chairman welcomed the detailed and comprehensive plan.  Health and Wellbeing Board Members;


·       requested that the key messages were simplified for public communications campaigns;

·       recognised the need for clear messaging around mental health services;

·       welcomed inclusive ways of working;

·       acknowledged that every part of the system needed to  work together, with clear messaging, in order to successfully negotiate winter 2020/21;

·       agreed that the Chief Executive of Age UK West Sussex would meet with the Executive Managing Director West Sussex CCG to progress transport arrangements following hospital discharge;

·       noted the need for clear signposting for residents in need of support such as housing, domestic abuse and mental health ensuring all partners from West Sussex County Council, District & Borough Councils, Police to Acute services work to the same communicative standards;

·       recommended the continued use of the ‘Silver Call’ partnership meetings which had provided a useful way of working together;

·       suggested that a memorandum of understanding be developed on housing issues across health and social care to ensure a proactive and flexible approach when working together, especially in view of the Covid19 impact on need;

·       called for clear partnership agreement on homelessness, working smarter and in an integrated way on hospital discharge pathways to make sure the vulnerable have somewhere to go.  (The Chief Executive of Crawley Borough Council as Chairman of the West Sussex Strategic Housing Group and the Executive Managing Director West Sussex CCG agreed to meet to build this into a refreshed plan);

·       agreed that separate budgets should not be a barrier to the need of individuals who require a whole system approach; 

·       pointed out that a Housing Conference was being organised by West Sussex County Council, Adult Services for all partners in November 2020, to bring attention to housing and its importance for community Health and Wellbeing;

·       reminded that Fuel Poverty was a winter issue that Board Members needed to be mindful of. Age UK could offer practical assistance such as fuel poverty vouchers and other voluntary sector partners could assist a coordinated response;

·       emphasised the importance of coordinated communications across the partners. The West Sussex CCG Communications lead was linked in with counterparts across the system and regular meetings were taking place on how messaging could be progressed.


6.7   The Chairman thanked Board Members for their review and comments on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership Winter Plan 2020-21. It was noted that an update on progress would be provided at the next Health and Wellbeing Board Seminar on 19 November.












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