The health landscape

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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on healthcare provision since March 2020. As we emerge from the pandemic, there needs to be a sustained focus on the recovery of clinical services and tackling the backlog of patients needing care and treatment. It is therefore more important than ever that the health and social care system works collaboratively, for the benefit of the population as a whole.

The NHS has demonstrated its resilience and adaptability during this unprecedented period. There has been increased collaboration between providers which has focused healthcare delivery to ensure equity of access. IT infrastructure has been significantly developed, such as in enabling remote consultations for patients during COVID restrictions. The benefits from these new ways of working will continue to be built on. We need to be responsive to patient needs and further adapt pathways to allow flexibility where clinically appropriate.

The Health and Social Care Bill 2021 set out the legislative changes needed to enable health and care to work more closely together, setting up Integrated Care Boards (ICB) across England. In our region, the Integreated Care System covers Cheshire and Merseyside, and is one of the largest ICSs in the country. The ICB will be responsible for delivering health and social care for the duration of our strategy.

The Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership will serve a population of 2.7 million people, across nine boroughs, or ‘places’. 

One of the main drivers of the development of the ICSs was to address health inequalities. This is a key issue in our region, which contains some of the most deprived boroughs in England and has some of the widest health inequalities.

There is a staffing crisis across the country in health and social care, especially in nursing which has over 40,000 vacancies across England. The Walton Centre is working hard to recruit and retain the best people, to remain an outstanding place to work, and to prioritise the health and wellbeing of our workforce.


Page last updated: 26 September 2022