For a number of years GP practices and community care teams have worked together in "clusters" which serve populations of c30,000 to 50,000 people.
Building on this foundation, the local NHS and Cheshire West and Chester Council are committed to developing nine "Care Communities" across Cheshire West to ensure even more care is delivered closer to home. Care Communities will extend beyond existing community care teams, providing a greater emphasis on supporting self-care and self-management of long-term conditions.
Among the principles health and care partners will apply to help shape the development of Care Communities is:
- Services will be built on assets of the community.
- We will always support prevention of illness and promote wellbeing.
- We will aim to intervene early in an emerging problem.
- We will take a person-centred approach to the delivery of care and support.
- Services will be delivered within the community, closer to home.
- We will have a shared understanding of population needs and will work towards shared clinical records.
- We will always involve local people in the shaping of services.
- We recognise that the input of patients and the public is absolutely key to the development of our Care Communities.
Partner organisations have started to discuss the development of Care Communities with a wide range of stakeholders, including key patient forums.
Among the early products of these discussions is the visual Care Communities representation below: