The STP is about transforming our services so that we can achieve improved well-being, better health and better care for the populations we serve, as well as improved efficiency so that we can continue to offer the services that people need within the budget available.

Prevention and early intervention

There needs to be a shift towards prevention and early intervention, which will require staff and services to behave in very different ways.

We want to focus on the individual, supported by families and friends, within their local communities, providing the information and support to help them lead healthier lives as independently as possible.

We recognise changing behaviour can be more difficult for some people and we want to see recognition of this in strategies to improve the health of those with the greatest health needs much faster. We want to see a reduction in avoidable long-term conditions, for example diabetes, particularly in less affluent areas.

Integrated health and social care services

This new way of delivering health and care services can only be realised with a fully integrated health and social care system.

A fully integrated health and social care system involves joined-up services which deliver education and advice about how to maintain independence and stay well, with mental health and wellbeing as high a priority as physical health and wellbeing. It also aims to take a person-centred approach and build wider support around people, through making the best use of what is already available to them at home and in the community.

Our voluntary and community partners will be at the heart of our new care model. It is vital that statutory public services (NHS, local authorities etc.) and voluntary and community groups work together if we want to improve people’s health and wellbeing, and reduce demand on health and care services. For instance, we know that providing support to reduce social isolation and loneliness will contribute to reducing health inequalities. We also want to look after the health of our voluntary carers by offering them the support they need, so they can continue to look after their loved ones.

Caring for our most vulnerable people

Alongside this, we recognise that there are people who need quite intensive support. Take people that are ageing and deteriorating with several health problems. With a fully integrated health and social care system, every person with a long-term condition would have a single care plan that monitors them regularly in their own homes and does not require them to have numerous routine follow-up appointments within the hospital setting. Everyone involved in caring for an individual in their home will know what is needed and be clear about where to get the right help if a person becomes unwell or their condition changes.

GPs will know when their patients need to be seen, and can arrange an appointment with the specialist the following day, or even a video consultation. And if somebody needs to be admitted to hospital because that’s the only place their care can be delivered appropriately, then that is what will happen.

That patient will go directly to the right ward for their specialty, rather than waiting in A&E and being moved around. The clinical team will be expecting the patient and will have everything lined up, and they will be in for whatever time is needed, with the team getting them back to where they normally live as quickly as possible.

Our vision is for a service that sustains dignity and self-responsibility, and provides the best possible care built on the strong foundations we already have in Devon.

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