As Northamptonshire’s journey towards full Integrated Care System (ICS) continues, work is under way to develop an ‘outcomes framework’ to guide improvements to local health and care services.

An outcomes framework is a way of structuring the planning and development of services to ensure that they are always closely linked to the outcomes they produce (e.g. reducing early death from an illness) or the impact they have for people (e.g. fewer adults with long-term illnesses means fewer children having to take on the burden of caring responsibilities).

By focusing closely on the outcomes and impacts of health and care interventions, rather than on other measures like achieving national targets, the links between the actions being taken and the reasons for taking them are clear. This approach also helps with our collective focus as health and care organisations working together as an Integrated Care System to tackle not just the causes of ill health, but the lifestyle and environmental factors which lead to those causes.

Over the last several weeks, work has been in progress to understand more about the evidence-based outcomes that we should prioritise locally in the development of our framework. This in turn will help to guide our future direction and decision making as an Integrated Care System. Engagement sessions have been undertaken with NHCP’s four priority transformation programmes – mental health, children and young people, elective (planned) care, and our iCAN programme transforming services for older people – and conversations are beginning with Health and Wellbeing Boards to understand the role of ‘place’. This engagement activity will distill the outcomes which matter most in Northamptonshire.

Our developing framework is informed by national, regional and local data and it will continue to evolve over time as more data becomes available to us. Further updates will be provided over the coming months.