Place-based care considers the needs of everyone in a locality, not just the most in-need. This means that care provision will differ between different areas in the UK, from urban to rural, from CCG to CCG. Health inequalities are not levelled by only focussing on the most in-need, but the needs of the whole population. What drives effective place-based care is collaboration. In healthcare commissioning in particular, the collaboration between service providers and commissioners, working together to address the needs of the people in their locality.
An excellent example of collaboration and place-based consideration is in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. With 21 PCNs across both areas, the STP has created two geographical alliances; the North Alliance and the South Alliance. There are 12 PCNs in the North Alliance and nine PCNs in the South Alliance. By considering the health characteristics across the whole of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, the STP could make a strategic decision of how PCNs could work together to provide the best place-based care. Cambridgeshire is generally more affluent with better health outcomes than Peterborough, with the exception of Fenland in the north of Cambridgeshire which is similar to Peterborough in health characteristics. Fenland is part of the North Alliance of PCNs, which means that more bespoke and targeted resources and services can be provided effectively for the whole North Alliance who share similar health characteristics and may benefit from similar health and social care services.
The example of the North and South alliance of PCNs demonstrates how place matters, and how it is not only being considered, but actually driving the planning and delivery of health and social care. Considering place targets inequalities and achieves equality of outcomes, not just equality of provision.