Our Healthier South East London Partnership Update - November 2019

Our updates provide an overview of the work of Our Healthier South East London (OHSEL), the Integrated Care System (formerly known as the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership) for south east London, over the past couple of months. They are designed for sharing with boards, governing bodies and other key partners and stakeholders.

At a glance

  • At the end of September 2019, we submitted our draft response to the NHS Long Term Plan to NHS England & Improvement. Following a review of our draft response by regional programme leads and the London Clinical Advisory Group we have received feedback, which we have been incorporating into our final response. During October and the beginning of November the draft response is being discussed by Trust Boards and CCG Governing Bodies, ahead of final sign off by the OHSEL Board (in public) on 13 November. We are undertaking an equality impact assessment of our response, which will also go to the OHSEL Board. Whilst our final response will be available on our website, we are developing a shorter, public-facing summary of our plans to publish after we have submitted our final response.
  • From April 2020, the six Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in south east London (Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark) will build on our existing collaboration to form a single South East London CCG. The CCGs have now received confirmation that NHS England has approved our merger application to become South East London CCG on 1 April 2020.  All six CCG Governing Bodies support this move and our GP memberships have voted in favour of the proposal. 

The merger of the CCGs is part of our response to the Long-Term Plan and the new SE London CCG will be organised so that we can:

  • respond to the different needs of our local populations at neighbourhood level
  • work in even greater partnership with our local authorities in each borough
  • commission services for patient pathways that go across the entire south east London system.

Update from programme groups

Children and Young People

Children and young people’s asthma is a priority across south east London (SEL) affecting around three children in every classroom.  It is the most significant long-term condition for children and young people and a high number of children are admitted to hospital as a result of problems with their asthma in London. On average, there is an admission every 20 minutes (over 4,000 emergency hospital admissions per year).  75% of these admissions are avoidable. 

Poorly controlled asthma affects every aspect of children and young people’s lives – their ability to learn, enjoy time outside school with friends or take part in sport.  It affects their time with their families and how they sleep.

We have sought to establish a network that works to improve the quality of life for children and young people with asthma in south east London. The first network meeting took place on 8 October 2019. The network brings together a community of health and social care professionals, commissioners, patients and parents/carers to work in partnership and collaborate across organisations and patient pathways to ensure that we provide a seamless service centred around the child rather than the system in which we work.


The OHSEL team has been promoting the role of nursing associates in primary, community and social care. To support this we arranged three workshops across south east London and also developed a leaflet introducing the role in partnership with South West London Health & Care Partnership and Health Education England. The leaflet is available here. In addition, our Provider Nursing Workforce Collaborative is also focused on nursing associates, with each provider actively committing to the role as part of their approach to addressing the gap in nursing workforce as well as working on a proposal to increase the numbers attaining the standard for entry on to the apprenticeship programme.

In partnership with the OHSEL Practice Manager Association, we have launched the non-clinical Excellence in Supporting Healthcare certificate (ILM accredited), an ILM accredited on-line modular development programme. This training offers a comprehensive and accredited training programme for our non-clinical workforce, equipping them with the skills to better support their clinical colleagues and improve patient experience.


The south east London Local Maternity System is currently reviewing current care pathways for women who are at risk of or who have had premature birth(s). As part of the maternity transformation programme the government has pledged to reduce pre-term birth in the UK from 8 per cent to 6 per cent by 2025.

For the next year, we have funded pre-term midwife champions working within all five of the hospital sites. Liaising with multi-disciplinary groups including midwives, obstetricians, neonatologists and paediatricians, the champions are reviewing and updating practices based on current evidence with the objective of improving the care of women, babies and families at risk of or experiencing pre-term labour and birth. This is to ensure that very premature babies, born before 27 weeks gestation, are born and cared for in a hospital with the appropriate facilities and expertise.

South East London Cancer Alliance

Endobronchial Ultrasound Expansion across south east London

Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) and the Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH) have begun undertaking a new diagnostic service at both sites. Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) is a minimally invasive procedure used in the diagnosis and staging of lung cancers. The procedure can both diagnose the type of lung cancer and accurately stage the disease, which will help reduce stress and anxiety for patients dealing with a cancer diagnosis.

The equipment is a small camera with a specialised ultrasound tip. This allows the doctors to see the lymph nodes (glands) in the centre of the chest, using a special scanner on the end of a camera. The physicians are then able to take samples from the lymph nodes and send to the laboratory to look for any abnormalities.

In 2018 the decision was made to expand the provision of this service across south east London, to meet the growing demand and ensure patients can undergo procedures closer to home. This has now been realised, with PRUH starting their service in September 2019 and QEH in October 2019.

Dr Sasikumar, Respiratory Consultant at QEH said: “Having EBUS at the QEH will greatly improve the lung cancer pathway here, as we will now be able to deliver diagnostics quicker and closer to home for our patients.”