MSE in Action

23 September 2022

GGI consultant Daniel Taylor presents a case study in innovative ICS engagement and involvement from Mid and South Essex

Back in late June, Tuesday 28 June and Wednesday 29 June to be precise, on the eve of the long-awaited 1 July formal constitution of the 42 integrated care systems (ICSs)s across England, something rather extraordinary happened across mid and south Essex.

I first caught sight of it on my Twitter feed, which was all of a sudden littered with enthused posts sharing examples of great partnership working and collaboration, and embracing the challenges and opportunities of integrated care. They all bore the hashtag #MSEinAction.

For those two days, a virtual conference took place that brought together local authorities, voluntary and community services and NHS, patients and communities from across Basildon, Braintree, Brentwood, Chelmsford, Maldon, Rochford, Southend and Thurrock.

These groups gathered to engage with each other on:

  • improving patient outcomes
  • increasing efficiency
  • reducing duplication, and improving job satisfaction for staff
  • creating opportunities in education, employment, housing and beyond
  • supporting health and wellbeing: promoting healthy lifestyles and behaviours, focusing on prevention and self-care
  • bringing care closer to home
  • improving and transforming services for and with our residents.

Mid and South Essex Integrated Care System (MSE ICS) serves a population of 1.2 million across the region. Its vision is to be:

  • Distinctive: to do things that others can’t
  • Attractive: to bring the best staff to our system
  • Successful: in any given area

And its aims and goals are to:

“...Reduce health inequalities and improve patient outcomes, increase efficiency, reduce duplication, and improve job satisfaction for staff. The benefit of integration means we can work in partnership at every level to:

  • create opportunities: in education, employment, housing, growth
  • support health and wellbeing: promoting healthy lifestyles and behaviours, focusing on prevention and self-care
  • bring care closer to home: where safe and possible
  • improve and transform our services: integrating care for and with our residents.

MSE in Action certainly speaks to that.

Both intrigued and captivated by the concept of MSE in Action, I set out to find out more about the idea and how it had all unfolded. This is what I learned from two of the architects: Claire Hankey, director of comms and engagement, and Katherine Raven, head of communications at MSE ICS.

How did the idea for MSE in Action come about? What was the driving force behind it?

Claire Hankey: “The formation of a new integrated care system in Mid and South Essex on 1 July marked the beginning of a new chapter in the way health and care professionals would work together locally.

“To support this change, our leadership team wanted to host a two-day virtual conference to unite health and care leaders, staff and stakeholders from across Mid and South Essex, as well as other partners from across the region and the country.

“We wanted the event to feature inspiring keynote speakers, experts speaking about current collaborative programmes and to provide opportunities for live learning and networking.”

What were you hoping to achieve? And did you achieve it?

Claire Hankey: “The aim of MSE in action conference was to:

  • increase understanding of what the integrated care system (ICS) was planning to achieve
  • inspire staff, partners and stakeholders about the opportunities and benefits of working in an ICS
  • position our ICS as distinctive, attractive, and successful to both local, regional, and national stakeholders.

“Ahead of the conference we asked delegates to rate their understanding of what the ICS was planning to achieve and asked them again after the event. Before the event the average rating by delegates about their understanding was 6 out of 10 and afterwards, they rated it on average as 8 out of 10, which was a significant shift.

“Delegates were also asked what they had learnt as a result of the conference. These are some of the answers they gave us:

  • “ICS strategy, learned more about projects taking place in our system, got to meet some of the new system leaders.”
  • “How partnerships have been formed in adversity but have blossomed into better care for our residents.”
  • “The importance and benefits of collaborative working and the outcomes this work has for our residents.”

How did you feel it went? What has the response been from partners?

Claire Hankey: “There was a real buzz over the two days, and it felt like health and care professionals across Mid and South Essex were talking about and engaging in the event. The conference hashtag #MSEInAction was used by delegates and speakers almost 500 times, with over 19,000 impressions on Twitter and LinkedIn.

“Our aim was to attract over 300 professionals to register, and we managed to more than double this target, with 673 registering. Feedback was very positive with delegates rating the content, quality of speakers and virtual platform as 4 out of 5 on average.

“Considering this was the first time we had hosted such an event in our system we were delighted with the outcome.”

What did you learn?

Katherine Raven: “How effective virtual conferences can be at inspiring people and bringing them together. The emoji feature on the platform worked really well with delegates able to send clapping emojis or respond with other reactions. Over the course of the event 4,451 emojis were shared by delegates during the sessions.

“In addition, it was vital to offer delegates the opportunity to watch sessions on demand as well as live. This was particularly important when we were trying to attract frontline health and care staff who would need to watch the sessions around their clinical commitments.

“When asked if they would watch sessions later, 74% of delegates said they would catch up on sessions (22% said maybe) and 83% said they would recommend catching up on the sessions to colleagues (15% said maybe).”

Would you do it again? If so, what would you do differently?

Katherine Raven: “Yes, we’d do it again. Almost all of the delegates – 93% – told us that they would like to attend another MSE in Action conference, so we are currently exploring this for 2023 to build on the momentum of this year’s event.

“I think the main thing we would do differently is to have more planning time to promote the event to attract even more delegates and high-profile speakers. We also felt there was an opportunity to make more of the networking sessions.

“We would look to promote these more and ask speakers to host tables so delegates could meet them in a smaller group. Almost 40% delegates said they had made a new contact as a result of attending the conference, but we would like to increase this next year.”

Meet the author: Daniel Taylor

Engagement Consultant

Find out more

Prepared by GGI Development and Research LLP for the Good Governance Institute.

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