What Matters to Us

Our ambition is that people in Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon, Boroughbridge, Pateley Bridge and the surrounding rural areas enjoy good health and have access to appropriate services if and when they need them. We would like people to play an active role in making decisions about their own health and their own lives, as well as influencing how health and social care services are delivered in the area.

Health professionals including your local GP, social care and voluntary organisations in the Harrogate and Rural District have agreed to work together to achieve this ambition and change the way care and support is provided and accessed by our community, improving quality of life; “What Matters to Us”.


What Matters to Us is an ambitious programme led by NHS Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group, along with Harrogate and District Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, Harrogate Borough Council, North Yorkshire County Council, Yorkshire Health Network and Harrogate and Ripon Centres for Voluntary Service.

In January 2015, the NHS invited individual organisations and partnerships to apply to become ‘vanguard’ sites for the New Care Models programme, one of the first steps towards delivering the national NHS Five Year Forward View and supporting improvement and integration of health and social care services. Each vanguard site will take a lead on the development of New Care Models which will act as the blueprints for the NHS moving forward and the inspiration to the rest of the health and care system.

In March 2015 What Matters to Us was awarded national Vanguard status by NHS England

Over the last 12 months we have talked to local people about what the challenges are in trying to provide truly joined up care; where health, social care and voluntary services all work together in local teams to support people within the community.  A public Open Space Event was held in May 2015, where we invited patients, carers and the general public to provide us with their views on what integrated care should look like.  At this event we were told they:

  • want to be supported to stay well
  • don’t want to be in hospital unless they really have to
  • want to be more in control of their own health either at home or as close to home as possible.
  • They also want the professionals involved in their care to work in a way that’s connected so that they don’t have to keep repeating their story over again to different people and delay their care.

What does it mean?

The What Matters to Us programme will provide access to 24/7 prevention, advice and information for individuals who find themselves needing support. The programme will transform how care is provided in each part of the local system - with new ways of working in GP practices, community and hospital based services, new ways of integrating health and social care, integration of mental and physical health care delivery and closer links with voluntary organisations who provide health and social care services.

There are three critical parts to What Matters to Us:

  • Prevention – working with local communities and the voluntary sector to develop new approaches to help people maintain their health and wellbeing. The first step in this work will be working with our local CVS and other partners to upgrade their community directory with an emphasis on maintaining wellbeing and independence in the community.
  • Intensive support – interventions provided more intensively than the current model, with the aim of averting crisis and providing alternatives to hospital admission. This will include examples like supporting local residents with help and care from a community care team of health and social care professionals, coordinated by a named professional.
  • Empowerment and helping – building on the current system, putting local residents at the centre of our planning. With the right help, we can empower our residents to return to their usual place of residence more quickly and with the right support. This includes supporting discharges from hospital, providing additional support for local residents in rehabilitation and to develop the confidence and skills to continue to live at home.

When will we see it happening?

We have started working toward these goals which will be delivered via 4 Community Care Teams across the district during 2016.  This work includes recruiting more community staff and locating them in the area that they will be serving. The first area to start work in and pilot the programme is Knaresborough, Green Hammerton and Boroughbridge.  The new community team will begin in February as we pilot the new ways of working in this area. The programme isn’t written in stone and we are keen to continually receive feedback from the communities which will shape how the programme will work.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the What Matters to Us programme you can contact the New Care Models programme office via email info@whatmatterstous.org  or Tel: 01423 799326.

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