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The Gateshead health and care system

Why the Gateshead health and care organisations came together

Gateshead boasts some of the best health and care services, but stubborn health inequalities persist across communities in Gateshead. We have layered resource on top of existing resource to respond to need in a siloed way - expensive and inefficient!

People have told us their experience of care is fragmented. Where our system has needed to be strongest (for example, for people with multiple and complex needs), it has often been the weakest.

Add workforce challenges and financial sustainability into the mix and we understood that we needed to work differently in order to deliver better outcomes for the people of Gateshead with less resource.

What the Gateshead Health and Care System is

The Gateshead Health and Care System is a group of local organisations that come together on a regular basis to work differently together in order to achieve better outcomes for local people. This includes:

  • Gateshead Council
  • NHS North East and North Cumbria integrated care board (ICB)
  • Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Community Based Care Health / Gateshead Federation of GP Practices
  • Blue Stone Consortium

Our aims and objectives

Our aims and objectives are to:

  • shift the balance of services from acute hospital care and crisis interventions to community support with a focus on prevention, early help and self-help. As part of this, ensure that a shift in activity is accompanied by a shift in resource as appropriate i.e. that money follows the patient/service user;
  • support the development of integrated care and treatment for people;
  •  create a joint planning and financial framework for managing the difficult decisions required to ensure effective, efficient and economically secure services during a period of continued public sector financial austerity, getting the most from the Gateshead Pound.

Helping people to Thrive in Gateshead

Our aims and objectives support all 5 pledges of Gateshead's Thrive agenda:

  • put people and families at the heart of what we do
  • tackle inequality so people have a fair chance
  • support our communities to support themselves and each other
  • invest in our economy to provide sustainable opportunities for employment, innovation and growth across the Borough
  • work together and fight for a better future for Gateshead

Our priority areas, transformation programmes and enablers

We have identified 3 priority areas for our system work:

  1. Children and Young Peoples' health and wellbeing ('best start in life') - we are focusing on Early Years and Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).
  2. Frailty (including falls) - we are focusing on 'strength and balance' provision in Gateshead and a review of adult occupational therapy.
  3. Residents with multiple and complex needs.

We have also identified a number of transformation programmes that we are progressing as a system:

  • Older persons care homes
  • Community mental health and Delivering Together
  • Community health services transformation
  • Community model for learning disabilities
  • Intermediate care
  • End of life care

Our key enablers:

  • Digital technology (including addressing digital poverty)
  • Workforce
  • Governance for Gateshead Health & Care System

System leadership and development

We recognise the importance of collective system leadership across our organisations in taking forward our priority areas and transformation programmes. We also understand the need to continue to develop our local system and ways of working so that it is best placed to deliver our aspirations for local people. This is something we will be taking forward in parallel with our work programmes and has been identified as an additional priority in its own right.

Supporting documents

There are a number of key documents below which set out more information on the Gateshead Health & Care System e.g. our vision and priorities for local people; details of our work; our principles and ways of working; our governance; and how Gateshead 'Place' fits into wider geographies across our region and sub-region. Our most recent documents are at the top of the list.

Local Government Association (LGA) Good Practice Case Study on Gateshead's collective leadership approach in responding to Covid-19 (PDF) [296KB] (opens new window)  (September 2020)

List of Gateshead Health and Care System Priority Workstreams and Enablers (PDF) [85KB] (opens new window)  (August 2020)

Slides for Integrated Care Partnership (North) (PDF) [219KB] (opens new window)  (June 2020)

Examples of Health and Care System responses to Covid-19' (PDF) [204KB] (opens new window)  (June 2020)

Gateshead Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2020 (PDF) [3MB] (opens new window)  (March 2020)

How does Gateshead fit into the wider system? (gi.ui.mediatype.powerpoint) [5MB] (opens new window)  (December 2019)

Update to our Health and Wellbeing Board (PDF) [540KB] (opens new window) (July 2019)

Gateshead Health and Care System Planning Framework (gi.ui.mediatype.powerpoint) [4MB] (opens new window) (July 2019)

Terms of Reference for Gateshead Health and Care System (PDF) [182KB] (opens new window) (April 2019)

Memorandum of Understanding for Gateshead Health and Care System (PDF) [173KB] (opens new window) (January 2019)

Principles for Planning and Financial Delivery (PDF) [113KB] (opens new window) (November 2018)

Update to our Health and Wellbeing Board (PDF) [677KB] (opens new window)  (October 2018)

Gateshead Health and Care System Outcomes Wheel (PDF) [158KB] (opens new window)  (June 2018)

Gateshead Health and Care System Report-out Slides (PDF) [4MB] (opens new window) (June 2018)

News updates and bulletins

August 2020

The Gateshead Health and Care System has responded well to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Details of our response and lessons learned have been reported to Gateshead's Health and Wellbeing Board and Integrated Care Partnership (North).

The Local Government Association (LGA) has produced a Good Practice Case Study on Gateshead's collective leadership approach in responding to Covid-19. The system is using the learning from Covid to help progress our key workstreams.

Gateshead's new Health and Wellbeing Strategy 'Good jobs, homes, health and friends' was finalised earlier this year just as we began to enter the COVID-19 pandemic. Attention is now focusing on how best to take forward and implement the strategy through the Health and Wellbeing Board with input from health and care system and other partners.

The supporting documents section above includes links to each of these updates.

January 2020

We had a successful afternoon development session with Directors of Finance and their representatives on 7 January where we focused on the tangible delivery of change and ways of working. During the session, we confirmed:

  • the importance of partners continuing to work together building upon the strong relationships in place
  • what we want to do as a system to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes for local people
  • how we are going to work together to deliver our priority areas of work over the coming year
  • our next steps

The outputs from the session are being written up and will be discussed further by system partners and our Health and Wellbeing Board. 


For further information on the Gateshead Health and Care System, contact John Costello 0191 433 2065 or email

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