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Our work

We have six key priorities across Lancashire and South Cumbria when it comes to health and care, as we face a number of challenges across the region.
These are prevention, mental health, local care, health and social care, hospitals and urgent care.

Our focus on prevention

Traditionally, we focus on getting better once we're ill. We're going to shift the focus now to helping people look after themselves, making healthy choices, so they stay fit and healthy for as long as possible.

To do this we’ll be:

  • working in schools to teach children how to be healthier
  • showing how you can look after yourself at home if you have a minor illnesses
  • helping people with long term conditions to manage their symptoms
  • making sure older adults don’t become socially isolated
  • work to reduce preventable illnesses and deaths
  • encouraging people with learning disabilities to have annual health checks
  • increase early diagnosis through detection and screening programmes
  • embedding health and care in the planning of jobs, transport and housing across Lancashire and South Cumbria

Mental health, not physical health

Across Lancashire and South Cumbria, children, young people and adult mental health needs are not being treated together with their physical needs.

We know that this can lead to a variety of issues such as social isolation and selfharm. This also results in physical health conditions being left untreated and people dying early.

We will support people with teams close to home, providing support for mental health in A&E departments to take into account both physical and mental health needs, whilst reducing pressure on services.

Investment in local care

We think we should invest more money into GP services and community care across Lancashire and South Cumbria.

That means investing more in the services that people use everyday, with more care delivered locally.

Everyday tests and investigations, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, managing minor injuries and minor surgery can be provided closer to home.

  • Different GP Practices working more closely together
  • Community care, mental health, learning disability services and voluntary sectors also being more involved
  • More development and training for professionals so you won't need to see a GP
  • This will free up time with GPs for those who really need them
  • Improving access to Primary Care in the evening and at weekends.

Joining up health and social care

Services should be working together to support you and your family, this means that the focus is not on health alone, but also includes social care services too.

To do this, we want to:

  • Support you to take control of your own health and care needs, staying healthy and independent.
  • Share information so you don’t have to keep repeating yourself or fill in lots of forms when you go to different health and care professionals
  • Work with neighbourhood teams to bring different services together, bring care closer to you
  • get the right care in place for people who need it but working with residential care homes and care home providers
  • make sure vulnerable people are getting the extra help they need accessing care and support
  • centre care plans around the needs of the individual
  • regularly monitor and assess service providers to get the high quality care we expect for you.

Getting the right hospital care

We want to make sure people receive the very best care at their nearest hospital, or a more specialisted hospital where specific expertise is required. We know this approach saves lives.

However, we also know travel can be a big issues, the geography of our region is diverse, with a congested road network and rural areas with access problems.

So, we want to provide services locally, so people only have to travel further when it’s absolutely necessary.

This will mean hospitals sharing staff and resources, working with local community services to get the right care out of hospital and making sure quality, safety and waiting time targets are met.

We’re also going to be looking in detail at how specialist services are provided, aiming to make the best use of our facilities and our expert staff. This may mean having highly specialist services in one location in centres of excellence.

Care needed urgently or in an emergency

By urgent care we mean when you need care that should not wait for a routine appointment, such as a minor injury or sudden raised temperature. This is different from emergency care, which is a life or limbthreatening illness or injury where waiting would be catastrophic.

We know that many people go to A&E because it is perceived to be the only option which is always available for them, or if they're unsure if their illness or injury is an emergency.

Instead, they should be getting help on the phone (NHS111), online (NHS Choices), through a pharmacist, GP or walkin centre. All of these can give people easily accessible information.

However, we know urgent and emergency care is still needed.

We want to have:

  • Urgentcare services, such as GPs, mentalhealth services, ambulances and walkin centres, need to be more organised and coordinated.
  • Stronger links between hospitals so patients with the most serious needs get to specialist emergency centres.
  • There will be Mental Health Liasion Teams in A&E at all times to support patients with both physicalhealth and mentalhealth needs.