The Hewitt Review published today: our thoughts and recommendations

04 Apr 2023

Today, 4th April 2023, the final report of Hewitt Review was published. This is an independent review into the oversight, governance and accountability of Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) across England which has been conducted by Rt Hon. Patricia Hewitt (Chair of Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board).

Integrated care systems (ICSs) are partnerships of organisations that come together to plan and deliver joined up health and care services, and to improve the lives of people who live and work in their area.

Patricia Hewitt believes that if fully implemented the review’s recommendations will enable ICSs to deliver their four main statutory purposes. These are to improve outcomes in population health and healthcare; tackle inequalities in outcomes, experience and access; enhance productivity and value for money and support broader social and economic development.

We were one of over 400 organisations that responded to the call for evidence as part of the review, highlighting our key recommendations for ensuring that ICSs can support and deliver high quality palliative and end of life care (PEoLC).

We were pleased to see that several recommendations for improving the health and social care system that we have made were highlighted within the review. This includes the recommendation for ICSs to better understand the needs of their populations, to take action to tackle inequalities and the key role that improving data sharing and increasing the role of the regulators play in achieving this. We also support the review’s emphasis on the importance of preventing poor health. We do however add to this and highlight that it is important not to forget the need to deliver the right support for those who need PEoLC and bereavement support.

Commenting on the Hewitt Review, Emma Vasey, Head of Influencing and Engagement said:

“Sue Ryder welcomes the Hewitt Review today, in particular the recommendation that improving population health management and tackling health inequalities should not be seen as a distraction from immediate priorities.

"The Review rightly recognises the importance of prevention. However, ‘prevention’ should not alienate the one life event we all inevitably face – death. We must not overlook the value of a good death and bereavement support because it doesn’t fit into the neat box of ‘preventing illness’. With the demand for palliative care expected to grow by 55% in the coming decade, Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) need to consider the positive impact palliative and end of life care can have for patients and their families, as well as reducing pressure on the wider health system.

"ICSs provide an opportunity to transform our health and care system, the inclusion of palliative and end-of-life care is core to their success and the delivery of appropriate care for their populations.”

A black woman sits on a double bed next to a younger black male whilst they both look thoughtfully at a laptop. The son leans his head against his mother's.

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