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Our work in Dorset was initially focused on older  people but quite quickly it became apparent that there was a desire to adopt this as an all-age approach. This emerged from an extensive  listening exercise between May and August 2023 involving around 150 people from across the spectrum of organisations delivering care, support and services in the county.

The upfront investment in engagement was invaluable to understand different stakeholder perspectives and a create a shared purpose, which in turn helped to build collective energy and commitment to change across the system. There was a strong consensus for moving rapidly towards an ambition that has Integrated  Neighbourhood Teams (INTs) formed around the ‘natural’ communities of Dorset. By ‘natural’, we mean those communities that people would identify themselves as being part  of and they are formed around the needs of the local population and include primary, community, mental health and secondary care expertise, as well as public health, social  care, housing, VCSE and pharmacists, dentists and optometrists with support from local businesses.  

The INTs will be confident, autonomous and multidisciplinary, led by a single unified leadership team and come together at the level of Place to achieve greater integration with the acute and specialist physical and mental health services. They will be accountable for both listening and understanding what matters to local populations and the key service or access performance measures that matter to them. The five pillar outcomes in Dorset are: 

  1. Supporting people with mental health conditions to live better 
  2. Support 55,000 children to maintain a healthy weight 
  3. Reduce the impact of deprivation (and the life expectancy gap) 
  4. Increase the % of older people living independently in Dorset 
  5. Increase life expectancy in Dorset. 
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