Our draft principles

We have developed twelve principles below that will shape how we design and develop services for our ageing population. These are still in draft and we are keen to hear what people who live or work in Oxfordshire think about them. An 'easy read' read version of these principles for people with learning disabilities is available here

What this means in practice…

Provide a better experience for people who are seeking or receiving care in their community


We will include patient feedback in decision making as well as information about outcomes.

We will recognise the significant role of carers. We will provide support to carers to help them maintain their own health and wellbeing, and balance their role as a carer with life, work and family commitments.

We will do more to reach those from under-represented groups where we anticipate people have needs but don’t currently present to services in the numbers we would expect. This includes helping those who have difficulties accessing services. 

Ensure equality of opportunities to improve health and well-being are consistent across the county


We will work together to tackle the differences experienced in health outcomes (health inequalities). We will adopt approaches that support people to achieve consistently good health outcomes wherever they live in the county, tailored to individual and local circumstances.

We will provide consistent opening hours for services. We will look to put resources in areas with the greatest need.

Enable people to stay well for longer in their own homes

We will work with our residents to lengthen the time that people remain in good health and delay the point in their life when they become dependent on services or need to move to a care home.

We will make sure that people of all backgrounds can access our services rapidly when they need them, before their health deteriorates.

Use digital approaches to improve health and independence

We will harness the potential of digital technology to enable people to strengthen their social connections and maintain their independence
and wellbeing.

We will offer more options and support for how people use digital services including: online; at home; and within the community.

We will support people to develop their digital literacy and minimise inequalities.

Offer more joined-up services, to improve their effectiveness and quality

We will support effective working between teams and services.

We will reduce duplication and poor communication between services, especially when patients move from one service to another.

We will make sure all services have access to the support they need to deliver to their best ability. For example, access to community-based diagnostic tests. 

Ensure our use of beds in the community maximises people’s long-term health

We will focus on what people can do and make sure we’re not prematurely putting them into a hospital bed or institutional setting.

We will only use a hospital bed to offer treatment if it can’t be provided in another setting, especially the person’s own home.

When a patient needs a community hospital bed, we will ensure they are able to access the clinical expertise, environment and staffing they need to get the best long-term health benefit.

We will reduce the time spent in a hospital bed by more efficient bed management, improving our ability to get people home when ready with timely therapy input.

When people are in beds, we will ensure they have access to other community services such as testing and consultant expertise.

Base service design on best practice and clinical evidence

We will work with research teams to identify best practice both nationally and internationally.

We will seek advice from expert clinicians on how we can apply this best practice evidence to our services.

We will ensure that the services we provide meet quality and regulatory standards.

When thinking about how we use our resources, we will consider things that are not traditionally reflected in financial statements. This includes thinking about how social, economic and environmental factors can create value for communities.

Organise services so staff operate in effective teams, with appropriate skills, that use resources effectively  


We will develop our community hospitals into vibrant centres of excellence that provide the greatest benefit for residents, taking into account local need and the amount of service use.

We will share and develop our buildings to achieve the best outcomes for the people of Oxfordshire.

We will design services to be flexible so they can respond to changing needs. For example, additional pressure in winter or infection control changes.

We will ensure our services are resilient so people can rely on them always being there and not risk service gaps due to staffing issues

Be a great place to work for the health and social care workforce



We will improve the career and skills development opportunities for all our health and social care staff.

We will work collaboratively to support the recruitment, retention and development of staff.

We will promote equality, diversity, teamwork and empowerment to provide the best possible staff experience and working environment.

Deliver the locally and nationally agreed priorities for our health and care system

We will ensure our locally agreed priorities drive all service changes and national ‘must-dos’ are delivered. 

Contribute to sustainability and the environment

We will make sure services are sustainable both financially and for the environment.

We will reduce the unnecessary use of limited resources and consider the impact on the environment.

We will minimise unnecessary travel. For example, by providing more outpatient services locally.

Maximise the positive impact on health and wellbeing for our population, within the limitations of our resources

We will develop services that have the maximum positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the population within the resources we have available.