It’s all change for the local decision-makers who are trying to transform and join up health and care services for people in Reading and beyond.
Thanks to a government-led rebrand, we now have the Berkshire West Integrated Care Partnership, previously known as an Integrated Care System and before that, as an Accountable Care System. It involves seven NHS organisations and local authorities working together to plan and improve care for 600,000 people.
The BWICP is one of three ICPs within the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care System (ICS), which has also recently been rebranded from its previous identity as an ‘STP’ (sustainability and transformation partnership).
Speaking at the launch of the Berkshire West ICP on 18 July 2019, Cathy Winfield, chief officer of Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (one of the ICP's seven members), said: “I am very excited about this new, modern partnership approach. Each organisation within the new BWICP boasts a wealth of expertise and, more importantly, knowledge of their local areas, and we can use this to create health and social care services which are more tailored to the needs of each locality.”
One thing that hasn’t changed is the status and name of Healthwatch Reading. We continue to be the independent champion of public and patient involvement and rights, backed by statutory powers, and we’ll carry on working to influence the bodies responsible for funding and planning NHS and care services.
Who’s who in the Berkshire West Integrated Care Partnership
Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group: plans and funds most NHS services for people in Reading, Wokingham & West Berkshire
The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust: runs the main hospital including A&E
Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust: runs community and mental health services, including Prospect Park Hospital
Reading Borough Council, West Berkshire Council, Wokingham Borough Council: fund and oversee social care services for people with extra needs such as learning disabilities or frailty in older age, and public health services such as weight management, sexual health clinics and stop-smoking services.
South Central NHS Ambulance Trust: responds to 999 calls, provides non-urgent patient transport, and helps run the NHS 111 helpline in our area.