NHS needs to change say local people

Date posted: 7th August 2019

Results from independent research recently carried out with local residents showed that 93 per cent of people felt change is needed.

More than nine out of 10 people living across Preston, Chorley and South Ribble believe the NHS needs to change to meet the future needs of the population. Additionally, 78 per cent of people also stated that they would prefer to have more healthcare services closer to home.

Therefore news of the biggest transformation to the way local GPs work in more than a generation is likely to be a welcome announcement to many.

Announced by NHS England this week, general practices large and small, will start working in ‘networks’ to support each other while offering a wider range of specialist care services to patients from a range of health professionals.

These ‘networks’ which were outlined as a key national priority within the recently published NHS Long Term Plan, will involve GP practices across Preston, Chorley and South Ribble recruiting additional staff to form multi-skilled teams of professionals able to support their patients. These teams, which are likely to include clinical pharmacists, paramedics, social prescribing link workers, physiotherapists and others will help to free up GPs to focus on the sickest patients and prevent unnecessary visits or stays in hospital.

The development of these networks will also help to join-up health and social care, increase the ability for services to proactively support local peoples’ health and wellbeing; as well as improve the coordination of care too.

Dr Lindsey Dickinson, a local doctor and GP Director at NHS Chorley and South Ribble CCG, said: “These networks will become the foundation for the future health and care system. They are an essential cog in the wider system and fundamental to how we arrange our health and care services to meet the future needs of local people.”

Across Preston, Chorley and South Ribble, there will be a total of nine networks covering the 400,000 population.

Dr Dickinson added: “We have some long-standing health issues which we need to tackle by integrating the services we provide in hospital with those services provided in the community.”

Local NHS, council and other organisations have already been working together across the whole Lancashire and South Cumbria area to join up care and tackle some of the biggest challenges facing the health and care system.

More locally though, organisations across Chorley, South Ribble and Preston, are also working much more closely together through what is known as an Integrated Care Partnership (ICP). This partnership brings together the local NHS, councils and voluntary, community and faith sector organisations across the area to improve the health, care and wellbeing of local people. It also aims to make the best use of the collective resources available across central Lancashire.

Through the central Lancashire partnership, these organisations have agreed a number of priority work programmes. These cover a number of areas, some of which local people may already be familiar with through the 'Our Health Our Care' (OHOC) programme of the partnership.

The OHOC programme is looking at how local acute hospital services could be better arranged to meet challenges, improve care and outcomes for people as well as how support available within the community, away from hospital, could be enhanced.

Other agreed priority work areas for the partnership include:

·         How services are funded as a partnership, to make the best use of the collective budgets and deliver value for money from the public purse;

·         delivering truly joined up care by simplifying patient pathways and processes to remove duplication and remove barriers which are known to frustrate patients as well as staff; and

  • developing the infrastructure of the partnership to allow the partner organisations to come together to oversee and deliver a common purpose.

For more information about changes happening with the central Lancashire health and care system, please visit www.healthierlsc.co.uk/central-lancs.

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