International recognition for Better Care Together

International health leader Professor Don Berwick, President and CEO at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, was welcomed to the UK this week to hear how the Bay Health and Care Partners are working together to improve health and healthcare across the Morecambe Bay area.

Prof Berwick is supporting the national NHS New Care Models programme by reviewing how so-called vanguard communities such as Morecambe Bay are developing new ways of working. He began his day at Westgate Primary School in Morecambe, where he got a first-hand experience of the ‘Run a Mile’ initiative which encourages primary school children to exercise every day.

Andrew Bennett, Chief Officer at NHS Lancashire North Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“It was a pleasure to spend time with Don out in the community; I know he was particularly impressed with the ‘Run a Mile’ scheme and how communities are taking the initiative in improving their health right across our area.”

Professor Chris Ham, Chief Executive of The King's Fund accompanied Don Berwick on the day and after their trip back to school, they received a live demonstration of an NHS telehealth system in action.

The equipment allows patients in Millom to speak to specialists at Furness General Hospital, in Barrow - which is a 50 minute drive away from Millom. The service aims to deliver faster access for people to the most appropriate healthcare professional and where possible reduce the time and effort required for them in order to do so.

Using the telehealth equipment based in Lancaster our visitors were able to virtually meet members of the community group in Millom known as the Millom Health Action Group, Alison Redshaw, GP Practice Manager and Claire Morris, Community Paramedic, who are all based at Waterloo House GP Surgery in Millom. This enabled them to hear all about the community led health initiatives taking place in Millom to improve the health of local people.

Jenn Jakubowski, Millom Health Action Group said:

“We were delighted that Professor Berwick took the time to meet us and expressed an interest in some of the innovative things happening to health services in and around Millom. He is welcome to return at any point to see how things are progressing.”

Also during his visit Prof Berwick was given a demonstration of the Advice and Guidance system – a system which has meant 1,500 people have been able to be treated closer to home and avoid a visit to hospital during 2016.

Dr George Dingle, a GP in in the Morecambe Bay area said:

“I was thrilled to meet Prof Berwick and showcase our Advice and Guidance service which offers the opportunity for GP’s across Morecambe Bay to hold a secure electronic ‘conversation’ with a hospital specialist to obtain real time advise about a patient’s condition. It’s one of the many ways we are helping people stay well closer to home.”

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

“I’m very pleased to have welcomed Don Berwick and Chris Ham to Morecambe Bay to find out what we are doing to improve healthcare in the area. It was fantastic to listen to staff talking about how they are involved in the programme and the difference this is making across the area already.”

Notes to editors:

1. Better Care Together is a partnership of eleven organisations, including Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the North West Ambulance Service, Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS Lancashire North Clinical Commissioning Group and the two Local Authorities: Cumbria County Council and Lancashire County Council and two GP Provider Federations: North Lancashire Medical Group and South Cumbria Primary Care Collaborative working together in partnership.

2. Clinical leaders from across all organisations have designed a new clinical model of care for Morecambe Bay, through a series of design workshops and clinical. The new care models have been strongly influenced by the wide ranging engagement with stakeholders which has taken place over the past two years.