INTEGRATION OF COMMUNITY AND ACUTE SERVICES

Discussions have begun with health staff employed by Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMB) on greater integration of hospital and community services across the Morecambe Bay area at a series of staff engagement events in south Cumbria.

Conversations have been held with NHS staff, and union representatives from across south Cumbria last week with leaders from both health Trusts.

These conversations signal the intention to create an integrated hospital and community service across Morecambe Bay by the end of the year.

A key element of Better Care Together has been the creation of 12 GP led integrated care communities across the Morecambe Bay area. 

No decisions have yet been made and the Boards of both organisations will be asked to give approval in principle in July via an Outline Business Case. Final agreement – called a Full Business Case - is likely to go to the Trust Boards in November.

CPFT Chief Executive Claire Molloy said: “In south Cumbria we have been working closely with our Bay Health and Care Partners to develop what healthcare in Morecambe Bay will look like in the future.

“As a health and care system, we want to work in a much more integrated and ‘joined up’ way to improve patient care and experience. This has always been the ambition of our Better Care Together strategy.

“It therefore makes sense to work in a more integrated way across hospital and community care, reducing duplication and allowing the services to offer more consistent care across the whole of Morecambe Bay.

At present there are different organisations with different financial, governance and management arrangements, which makes the provision of consistent care more complicated than it needs to be.”

UHMB Chief Executive Jackie Daniel said: “We are discussing the opportunities available in integrating some of the community services in south Cumbria with acute services and primary care.

“We will continue talking to staff across the health and care services to discuss this further and gauge their views, before we develop detailed plans. Once this work has been completed and we know more, we will share the information with staff and the public.

“We want to include staff, unions and governors at all times during this process – and ensure they have the opportunity to influence how this happens.

“It is our intention to have the services integrated across the entire Morecambe Bay area by April 1 2018, but recognise there is much work to complete before then.

“If our intentions come to fruition the staff being integrated from will fully retain their existing pay and terms and conditions of employment.”