About Our Dorset

Our Dorset is a partnership of health and social care organisations working together to deliver Integrated Care Systems.

The ambition of Our Dorset is for everyone to have the best possible health and care outcomes. Living healthier, longer and fulfilling lives.

Our vision is for everyone to have access to high quality, joined-up health and care services, available when and where they are needed.

In short, we are working together for people to have healthier, fulfilling lives supported by sustainable health and care services.

Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for local health and care

The Challenge

We cannot continue with our support and services as they are currently organised. There are unacceptable differences in life expectancy across Dorset and variation in quality, accessibility and experiences of people using services.

Alongside this, demand for services is going up. At the same time our collective resources, at best, stay the same and at worse, go down. This means we have a predicted gap in our finances if we don’t take action now.

Doing more of the same is not an option. It is not sustainable and won’t improve people’s outcomes or the quality of our services now or for the future.



Transforming our approach to health, care and wellbeing

Our Dorset aims to support everyone to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Working with people, families and communities to reduce the risk of developing ill health. To maintain wellbeing, rather than waiting until people are unwell to offer them support and advice.

More of our public services will work closely together to tackle all of the factors affecting health and wellbeing. Including employment, housing and transport.

  • Support everyone to start life well, stay well and age well

  • Organise all health and care services to be more joined up and responsive to need

  • Reorganise hospital services to improve quality and provide more of those existing hospital services in the community and people’s homes

  • Ensure we invest our collective resources wisely for now and the future

In many areas of Dorset clinicians and care professionals are already working closer together in teams, providing better co-ordinated care. This means that rather than the person’s different needs being treated separately, they are considered together by the whole team.

We are also already working differently to reduce the need for hospital visits or a hospital stay. For example, new ways of working in Shaftesbury, Bridport and Weymouth are already helping people to stay in their homes. With teams of professionals coming to them. In Purbeck, people can access chemotherapy treatment at Wareham hospital, rather than travelling to Poole hospital as they did previously.

Some of these changes are smaller changes in the way we work. Others, further ahead, will be bigger changes to the way services are organised. An example being the Royal Bournemouth hospital becoming the major emergency hospital for Dorset.

Through the work of Dorset’s Clinical Services Review we have developed specialist roles for our hospitals in Bournemouth and Poole. National evidence shows this will deliver better, safer services for patients.

Although some people become worried by change, we are collectively taking action now to meet the challenges we face. Allowing us to better support people to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Improving the quality and responsiveness of services, now and for the future.


What this means

Our Dorset means:

More people connected within their families and communities. Making healthy choices, supported to stay well longer and lead a fulfilling life, wherever they live in Dorset.

People living more independent lives, in their own homes. Less dependent on a health and care system that is hard to understand.

More services and support available in people’s own homes and outside of hospital. Along with better use of digital technology this means less travel and less worry about getting to and from appointments.

Joined up services that better co-ordinate care across artificial organisational boundaries. Reducing anxiety and confusion for patients, their families and carers, of knowing which service or organisation is responsible for care.

Better systems to share clinical information across teams and services. Making for better outcomes and experiences, reducing the need to repeat key personal or clinical information at each appointment.

Physical, mental and social wellbeing being given equal priority in teams and services that bring together groups of relevant professionals. Rather than passing the person between services and creating delays in accessing support.

Better value for money from the public resources. We are investing in health and care services, safeguarding their sustainability for the future.

Integrated Care System

Our Dorset: an overview

Primary Care Networks


Case Studies

How we are all working together


Our Dorset Partnership

Your Local NHS and Councils Working Together

‘Our Dorset’ is a partnership of all of the NHS and local authority organisations in Dorset.

It is an important stepping stone towards a better integrated, continuously evolving health and care system for Dorset, putting us in the best position to jointly plan and prioritise our resources, meaning better experiences and outcomes for everyone.

Its focus isn’t on talking about what we’re going to do – it’s about taking action, together, to improve people’s lives, whether that’s giving children a better start, making care services easier to access or making NHS services more responsive to people’s needs.


The latest news and updates from Our Dorset