Bay Health & Care Partners pledge bright future for health across Morecambe Bay

REDUCED duplication and improved co-ordination will benefit patients and the public across Morecambe Bay as partners across the Better Care Together Vanguard pledge to work even more closely in the future.

The 11 health and care organisations which form the Better Care Together programme across Morecambe Bay have all signed a memorandum of understanding to work together in a new way. While it is not legally-binding, it aims to improve healthcare for the population in the area, reducing waiting times for appointments, reducing travel and reducing re-admission to hospital.

The Bay Health and Care Partners have pledged to further their work to integrate services, working as one system and promoting self-care and disease management, to simplify the local health service so people in the future will experience more consistent care.

Andrew Bennett, the Senior Responsible Officer for Better Care Together and Chief Officer of NHS Lancashire North Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:

“Providers of health and care right across ‘the Bay’ have been working on a strategy to join up services for a number of years. We are now taking it to the next level and looking to ensure we are planning together for the benefits of the local population.

“As Bay Health and Care Partners we will be working as one team without walls, looking at ways of being as cost-effective as possible and reducing duplication – we want to make the Morecambe Bay ‘bay pound’ go further.”

Jackie Daniel, Chief Executive, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust added:

“As one system, we will be working together to stop patients being unnecessarily ‘bounced’ around the system. We want patients to be seen in the right place, at the right time, by those best placed to help them.

“The work of Bay Health and Care Partners has already been recognised nationally with additional funding awarded via the ‘vanguard programme’ for the further development of leading edge models of care. 

“Bay Health and Care Partners represents 11 health and care providers delivering care across the Morecambe Bay area – all with a shared vision of helping our local communities enjoy great physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, supported by a health and care system providing care that is recognised as being as good as it gets.”

The Bay Health and Care Partners will run in a shadow form for at least the next 12 months – with the current organisational structure remaining in place. 

Claire Molloy, Chief Executive of Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said:

“By working more closely together, we can make it easier for teams who are involved in looking after our patients both in hospital and in the community to work across
organisational boundaries. This will reduce the number of starts and stops a patient experiences, reduce duplication and support all of our staff to work as one team.”

Chief Executive of Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, Professor Heather Tierney-Moore, said:

“By working together and looking at a person as an individual, we can help treat both mental and physical health needs on an equal footing – which is an essential requirement to improve health and make our local system nationallyrenowned.”

Dr Hugh Reeve, Chief Clinical Officer of NHS Cumbria CCG said: “Great progress has already been made, ranging from a reduction in hospital referrals, through to patients not needing to travel as far through the use of ‘tele-health’ video technology.

“By working together as Bay Health and Care Partners we will improve the quality of care; the patient and public experience; and the health outcomes of the population of Morecambe Bay.”