Brent to partner with other authorities and NHS organisations in major healthcare overhaul

London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust runs Northwick Park Hospital.

London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs Northwick Park Hospital, will be part of the new integrated healthcare system. - Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/PA Images

A new health partnership in the north west of London will aim to improve life expectancy and quality of life, reduce health inequalities and achieve healthcare "on a par with the best of global cities".

From April 1 2021,  the NHS and local authorities in the area will join together as a designated "integrated care system" (ICS).

Brent will partner with councils in Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster, as well as clinical commissioning groups and NHS trusts including London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs Northwick Park Hospital.

The organisations have been working informally, ahead of expected legislation to put ICSs on a statutory footing next year.

Lesley Watts, interim chief executive of the North West London ICS, said: “This is great news for the residents of north west London. It means that in future, services across north west London will be built around the needs of local people, with all part of the system working together to deliver the best possible care and outcomes.

“We have a compelling case for change: the variation in health outcomes and in the numbers of years lived in poor health between different areas across our eight boroughs is unacceptable.  

“To improve the health of our population we have to make the best use of the £6.8bn we spend, and this means closer working between the NHS, local councils and our wider community, including the voluntary sector, academic institutions and Healthwatch.

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"We will work together to make sure that resources are allocated fairly and equitably across North West London, targeted to improve health outcomes and reduce inequalities.”

Penny Dash, independent chair of the North West London ICS in September, said: “An ICS is a way of trying to get all the bits of health and care to work effectively together, to ensure we are focused on the health needs of the population and that everyone who lives in the area has access to consistently high quality care.

"It’s about using the money we have available in the best way to meet the needs of our local communities, meaning we may need to allocate resources differently."

The North West London ICS covers a population of 2.2 million people across eight London boroughs, employs 50,000 people and was allocated a budget £6.8bn in 2020/21 to meet the health needs of the population.