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Solace blog

12th February 2016

The Solace Macmillan partnership: an update briefing

Two Grant Funding Agreements were signed with local authorities at the end of 2015 in Dundee and in Durham by Macmillan under the Solace Macmillan partnership.

Key objectives of the planned joint working are to:

– Measure and understand the scale and type of unmet need for people affected by cancer within the Local Authority area

– Identify the predominant contributing factors to unmet needs; develop and test integrated assessments of nee  across care pathways

– Co-design with users, health partners and the wider community, high quality and sustainable future solutions for meeting assessed needs

– Plan and develop evidenced-based models of integrated care that enable needs to be met in a more effective and personalised way

The outcomes focus is very much in line with the aspirations and requirements of the Care Act 2014 and the National Cancer Strategy 2015-20 in seeking to enable people to live independently and self- manage their care, co-design of care and support with the individual resulting in enhanced user experience with positive physical and psychological wellbeing impacts, better coordinated, streamlined and integrated care pathways across health sectors, and between health and social care and improved support for carers.

The first six months of the programme (Phase 1) is intensive in laying the foundations for putting together an evidence-based Programme Plan for implementation. Macmillan is bringing resource both human and financial in supporting the programme work. The local Macmillan team will work with local authority public health and social care staff as well as with other health and voluntary sector partners to ensure that key milestone targets are met including

– Cancer is embedded in the strategic needs assessment

– Future assessments and solutions are co-designed with users and health partners

– User experience is reported and measured throughout the pathway

– A Programme Board is established

– A comprehensive Programme Plan for the second phase is developed and agreed

Each area will have different priority needs based on local demographics, community infrastructure and existing levels of service provision. Clearly needs across the Durham area will be different to an inner city area simply because of geography, population density and access to services. However from work to date across the country challenges and outcomes for people vary enormously with significant issues highlighted in some areas being levels of hospice provision and care (for all end of life care), workforce expertise being lost through retirement, cultural challenges
impacting on early diagnosis, travel and access to treatment and services, care pathways (time for diagnosis and time between diagnosis and treatment) and long term management and support of multiple conditions.

We are currently engaged in working with three other local authority areas in England to explore opportunities for deeper ongoing partnership working.