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Integrated neighbourhood teams set to improve access to local health and care services

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 12 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.


INTs programme director Matthew Forrest (pictured front, left) 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 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 Dr Claire Fuller's report Next Steps for Integrating Primary Care . Published in 2022, Dr Fuller’s review 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 East Birmingham, 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 West Birmingham, 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."


Birmingham and Solihull ICB: Integrated Neighbourhood Teams

David Disleyjones

Communications Manager
Communications Team

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