What is Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria?
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Across Lancashire and South Cumbria, we face some real challenges which mean we can’t carry on delivering health and care services the way we do now. We have said that we will be honest in explaining these challenges. Our health and care services are struggling to address the level of illness and poor overall health we face. As a consequence, people don’t always receive the quality of care they need. We need to tackle these challenges to move towards a health and care system that is fit for now and the future.
More information is available in the A Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria publication which can be downloaded here.
In 2015, NHS England worked with other national organisations to produce The Five Year Forward View, which is a national plan to improve health and care services. This national plan states that services need to get better at preventing ill-health, improve overall quality and safety and become more efficient.
In January 2016, NHS England asked 44 regions, like Lancashire and South Cumbria, to bring together NHS organisations, local authorities, voluntary and community groups to form a Sustainability and Transformation Plan. Lancashire was ahead-of-the-game, because local organisations were already having these conversations.
In November 2016, a draft of the local STP plan was published. Its purpose was to encourage further thinking about potential solutions and draw together local plans. The next steps are to have some more local conversation to develop the ideas further before coming up with firm proposals.
The draft Sustainability and Transformation Plan for Lancashire and South Cumbria can be downloaded here
In March 2017, NHS England published the Next Steps On The NHS Five Year Forward View. This states that Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships will drive improve efficiency and use of technology in order to deliver better care and meet rising demand within the constraints of available resources within their areas.
Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria is the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership for this region and is working to bring organisations closer together to improve health and care for local people.
Healthier Lancashire & South Cumbria is an ambitious partnership which has already been influenced by the public, local and national politicians and officials and the great workforce we have across all our health and care organisations. However, we know this is not enough, we need to make sure local people are involved in creating the changes and will be encouraging people to get involved.
We need to help people to understand the challenges we face, why we need change and some of the ideas we have that could make a difference. We will be sharing these in the coming weeks with people through local events and online over the coming weeks as these ideas develop. We see this as an on-going conversation as any changes are developed.
When any significant changes to services need to be considered, there will be a formal and legal consultation process that will need to be followed which will ensure that local patients, staff and communities are able to have their say.
It is also important that people get involved with any plans which are being developed locally as these are all working in partnership. To find out what is happening in your local area click here.
Click here to find out about local events where you can find out more
Healthier Lancashire & South Cumbria represents NHS, local Council, community, voluntary and faith sector organisations who have come together to work on our shared challenges and have formed five local partnerships across the region. These are listed below (click on the areas to find out more):
We need to make sure local people, stakeholders and health and care staff are involved in shaping local plans so that better solutions and proposals can be developed.
In terms of any proposals to change services, where there is an impact on local people, we will ensure that these proposals are subject to local engagement and formal consultation in line with legal requirements.
The Healthier Lancashire & South Cumbria draft Sustainability and Transformation Plan can be read, downloaded and commented upon from www.lancashiresouthcumbria.org.uk/sustainability-and-transformation-plan
This was published in November 2016 and is a draft document that was requested by NHS England. It is a technical document with a purpose to encourage further thinking about potential solutions and draw together local plans. We published this to be open about the plans which were being drawn together but acknowledge this was not easy to understand.
Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria has now published an easy to understand guide to explain how NHS, council and community organisations are working together to improve health and care for local people. This is available to read and download here
Funding for the NHS in Lancashire and South Cumbria is set to increase by £345m up to 2020/21. However, the need for our health and care services is higher than ever and is predicted to increase. This means there will be a mismatch between the growth in our funding and the even higher increases in demand for services and the higher prices of delivering services.
This financial gap could reach as high as £572 million by 2020/2021 for Lancashire and South Cumbria if we do not change the way we provide services.
We spend large amounts of our funding on treating illnesses caused by the effects of diet, inactivity, smoking and drinking alcohol. Smoking costs us more than £290 million each year and alcohol misuse costs more than £495 million per year.
Health and care staff are under enormous strain and services cannot continue to deliver sustainability if we carry on with the current situation, even with this additional funding.
It isn’t all about the money, even if it may appear that way. The health outcomes we get from our services are amongst some of the poorest in the country. We need to work together better across health and care and make better use of technology to make sure people receive the best possible treatments and so these outcomes are improved.
So, there are enormous financial pressures on our services and by changing the way we work we will be able to be more efficient with spending the money we do have and improve health and care at the same time. Our workforces are committed to providing the best services they possibly can. We all need to help them to do that by getting the best possible value for the Lancashire and South Cumbria pound.