The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Rt Hon Matt Hancock, visited Bexhill and Conquest Hospitals to see first-hand the wonderful work of the East Sussex Better Together programme.
Mr Hancock had been invited to East Sussex by Huw Merriman and was joined by the Bexhill and Battle MP, as well as Hastings and Rye MP and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Amber Rudd, for the informal visit to meet staff and patients.
At Bexhill, they visited the Joint Community Rehabilitation, Community Nursing and Frailty teams, along with the Irvine Unit Rehabilitation Unit.
At the Conquest, they visited the Richard Ticehurst Surgical Assessment, Critical Care and Acute Assessment Units, along with the Emergency Department.
They saw at first-hand the innovative technology currently being installed to provide monitoring of patient flow across the health and social care system. They met with senior health and social care leaders in East Sussex to discuss the integration of health and social care.
Mr Hancock said: “I applaud the staff at East Sussex Healthcare Trust for their tireless work – it’s been an honour to meet both staff and patients, and witness first-hand the excellent care given by the trust.
“I was delighted to learn more about their Better Together scheme, which focuses on integration, as set out in the long term plan. I was particularly interested in the introduction of the Nervecentre live bed state technology, saving time and effort for all and demonstrating the crucial role technology has to play in improving performance.”
Mr Merriman added: “I was delighted to welcome the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock MP, to East Sussex last Friday following my invitation to him, during Health Questions in Parliament, to come and see the excellent East Sussex Better Together Partnership in action.
“As part of the visit, Matt and I met the community nurses and rehabilitation teams at Bexhill Hospital. He was very impressed to hear how this partnership of our local NHS with East Sussex County Council Social Care teams has dramatically improved the health outcomes and for local people. He commented that the Better Together model is the future of healthcare in the UK. It was great to hear all the staff talk enthusiastically about their roles and the difference they know their teamwork is making to the lives of our constituents.
“During the visit, the community nursing team invited me to join them for a day to get a good understanding of their roles. I look forward to taking up their offer and seeing first-hand the great job they do within our local community.”
Dr Adrian Bull, chief executive of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Huw Merriman MP to the trust.
“They were able to hear about our journey of improvement and the significant progress we have made to integrate health and social care services in the last couple of years, which is already delivering the vision of the recently launched NHS Long Term Plan.
“They were very impressed by the new technologies we are currently installing to provide us with a live monitoring of patient flow across the trust.”