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Local NHS services join together to look at the future of healthcare across Morecambe Bay

Homepage » News » Local NHS services join together to look at the future of healthcare across Morecambe Bay

Local NHS services join together to look at the future of healthcare across Morecambe Bay

Posted on Monday 14th January 2013
Patient in bed

Patients, members of the public and groups across North Lancashire and South Cumbria will this year have the opportunity to share their views on the future of local health services.

Local NHS organisations including University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group and Lancashire North Clinical Commissioning Group have all agreed to work together to develop a strategy for how hospital services linking to wider health services will work together to develop a strategy for how hospital services linking to wider health services in the community and primary care will work in the future around the Morecambe Bay area.

As this work begins all three organisations want to ensure that we hear what the public, patients, healthcare professionals and wider stakeholders think of health services currently and how they might be organised in the future. Surveys and events are currently being arranged for the coming months and dates and information on how people can share their views and participate in the process will be advertised soon.

This feedback from the public and stakeholders will be given to local doctors and other health professionals as they will begin to look at different health areas before a set of possible options can be developed later this year. It is expected that a large scale formal consultation process looking the options subsequently developed, will then take place in summer/ autumn 2013. During this formal public consultation the public and stakeholders will again be asked to consider which possible options for changing the way health services work across Morecambe Bay, they prefer.

The demands upon the NHS both nationally and locally are changing and the plan to look at health services across the area is a response to these growing needs which include:

 

  • An ageing population
  • An increase in people with long term conditions
  • New modern and expensive treatments
  • Limited financial resources

 

In addition the hospitals around the Morecambe Bay area have faced a number challenges over the last 18 months. Although many of these issues have now been resolved, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust continue to work with regulators and the local NHS organisations to ensure services are of a high quality and remain safe and sustainable for many years to come.

GPs as part of clinical commissioning groups will play a major part in these discussions as from April 2013, they will be responsible for deciding how and where local health services should be delivered.

Dr Hugh Reeve is a GP in South Cumbria and the Clinical Chair for Cumbria CCG. He said: “The NHS is increasingly facing new and increased demands for resources everyday. For a starter, our population is getting older and as a result they are more reliant on health services and new modern treatments which are ensuring that more people with serious conditions live longer.

“We only have one pot of money and over the next few years this is not going to get any bigger, so we need to ensure that hospital and community health services work in a really joined up way to deliver high quality and safe care. This has to be done as efficiently as possible so we can ensure the future of these services for many years to come.

“I’d encourage as many people as possible to get involved and share their views as we can only find solutions for such a wide and complex challenge if we all work together.”

Jackie Daniel, Chief Executive, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust said: “Let’s be clear, despite what has been reported, no decisions about how services may change or be developed have been made, but discussions about how services could be designed and operate and what people want and value most about health services, will help shape these decisions over the next few months.

We fully understand the passion that local people have towards their health services and we share this passion. After all, these are also the hospitals that treat our staff and their families. Our aim is to ensure services remain safe, offer standards of care equivalent to the best in the country.”

Dr Alex Gaw, Chair of NHS Lancashire North CCG said: “Lancashire North CCG is pleased that this essential piece of work is taking place as one of our key priorities is to commission high quality, safe hospital care. This is a fantastic opportunity for patients to influence decisions on healthcare for themselves and their family."

Posted on Monday 14th January 2013

 

 
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