Integrated Neighbourhood Teams bring together multi-disciplinary professionals from different organisations across health and care services.
The aim is to deliver more joined up preventative care at a neighbourhood level. By sharing resources and information, the teams can work together more collaboratively to simplify and streamline access to services.
This will make sure that citizens across Birmingham and Solihull get the care they need when they need it and by the right person.
Often co-located, the teams include GPs, district nursing and therapy colleagues, mental health professionals, voluntary sector, social care and other council services.
They are linked to many other support organisations and services that can provide more specialist help and support if needed. In effect teams within teams.
It’s about organising services in a joined-up way to help citizens to access same day urgent care, mental health services and children’s services.
It’s about putting citizens across Birmingham and Solihull at the centre of everything we do.
Two integrated neighbourhood teams (INTs) are being trialled in Birmingham to help improve joined up care and support for local people across the city.
Community-based teams, including GPs, district nursing and therapy teams, mental health professionals, voluntary services, social care and other council services will work together more collaboratively to better connect people with the right care and support at the right time.
The aim is to reduce data duplication and to ensure that people tell their story as few times as possible. The new approach also aims to provide preventative and proactive care for local people as close to home as possible.
The teams have launched in the East and West areas of Birmingham and will run for an initial twelve weeks. Services offered by the new neighbourhood teams include social prescribing, medication reviews, community nursing, community mental health support and support for patient carers and families.
In total, there are five INTs involved in helping to design and trial the new approach. These first two test sites were chosen as ‘accelerator sites’ as there are existing multi-agency partnerships up and running that can quickly become part of the INT approach. The three remaining teams are set to launch towards the end of 2023.
Matthew Forrest, Programme Director for INTs at Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHC) said: “Integrated Neighbourhood Teams are central to improving access to local care and support for our population.
“We have worked with more than 150 professionals across health, care, and voluntary services, and engaged with local citizens, to design and develop this approach over the last five months. We are now excited to see what results we can achieve during this next phase and learn how we can better adapt the design to the benefit of our local populations.
“We also know that local areas across Birmingham have different requirements. Priorities for Erdington in the north, for example, may be different to Northfield in the south, Hodge Hill in the east or Ladywood in the west. We are making sure that we are working to deliver health and care services that are tailored to meet the diverse needs of different neighbourhoods and so also contribute to our aim of reducing health inequalities.
Whilst people cannot refer themselves to the Integrated Neighbourhood Teams, they may be contacted by a member of one of the teams if they are identified as potentially benefitting from their support.
BCHC is leading the establishment of a ‘community collaborator’ programme for Birmingham as part of a continuing mission across the local health and care system to provide more 'joined up', accessible, community-based services in the city. Establishing these trailblazer integrated neighbourhood teams is seen as pivotal to reforming community health and care delivery.”
The INT approach stems from the Dr Clare Fuller report: “Next steps for integrating primary care”. Dr Claire Fuller’s review, published in 2022, which was commissioned by NHS England to assess how newly formed Integrated Care Systems and primary care could work together to improve population health.
Nahmana Khan, GP lead for the INT serving the East, said: “Patients who come to my surgery might present with a medical condition but so often this is exacerbated by other factors including financial concerns, housing issues or loneliness and a lack of support networks. By adopting a more holistic model of care, we will be able to provide preventative support for patients and residents."
Sam Byrne, GP lead for the INT serving the West, said: “As an INT, we want to help people live well for longer by working with local government and the voluntary sector. Using data from across sectors we are learning to identify people in need of more support and provide this in a more holistic way through our neighbourhood teams."
What does it mean for me?
We want our citizens to live healthy, resilient and independent lives, with simple access to support and care when needed, as close to home as possible.
This means that you will be able to talk to people about your health and care in a place that works for you, in the way that works for you. We will also work with you to ensure that you are involved in and can influence how and where you receive care.
One professional within the Integrated Neighbourhood Team has responsibility for co-ordinating the care of a citizen. They will act as the individual’s key worker, a person responsible for understanding their strengths and needs and ensuring they receive the right preventative support to enable them to stay independent and well for longer. They will remain this person’s point of contact throughout their interactions with the INT.
Services could include social prescribing, medication reviews, healthy lifestyle advice and support, community mental health support and support for carers and families. The INT also has strong links into voluntary organisations, care homes, end-of-life care and hospices and community network teams.
Please click on the image below to access a patient information leaflet about Integrated Neighbourhood Teams.
In February 2023, five Primary Care Networks in Birmingham were invited to create an INT prototype team to help design, develop and trial the new approach which focuses on preventative care, closer to home.
The five teams are based in the north, south, east, west and central localities of the city. The east and west pilot teams were chosen as ‘accelerator sites’ as they have multiple deprivation and notable health inequalities but also as places where there are existing multi-agency partnerships up and running that can quickly become part of the new integrated neighbourhood care approach.
Each team will eventually be responsible for neighbourhoods of 30-50,000 citizens.
Local areas across Birmingham have different requirements. Priorities for Erdington in the north, for example, may be different to Northfield in the south, Hodge Hill in the east or Ladywood in the west.
The INTs are working to deliver health and care services that are tailored to meet the diverse needs of different neighbourhoods. The system is engaging with local people to shape services that meet the needs of their individual communities.
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