Substantial investment in local health strategy

Better Care Together, the clinical strategy for the South Cumbria and North Lancashire area which is being worked upon by 11 local health partners, has been awarded £4.29m of national NHS funding.

This follows a national announcement that Better Care Together had been selected as part of the ‘Vanguard’ for the NHS New Care Models scheme in April 2015. The new funding announcement means that the local organisations working together will receive new investment from a national transformation fund for the year 2015- 2016.

‘Vanguard’ communities have been selected by the NHS New Care Models Programme, to help deliver the NHS Five Year Forward View. Better Care Together made a successful application to be a Vanguard community.

The new funding will be used to implement and accelerate a number of the main Better Care Together initiatives across South Cumbria and North Lancashire in the coming months.

These initiatives include the further development of integrated care teams in local communities across the area. These teams are designed to offer “wrap around care” to patients with complex needs who require support at different times from several agencies. Work is also expected to continue to test changes to outpatient appointments and women and children’s services.

The additional resource will also help our plans to invest in Information Technology systems to support the delivery of some of the new Better Care Together new care models. Other initiatives include working towards a more integrated urgent care system in Barrow-in-Furness and the South Lakes.

There is a strong emphasis on supporting the involvement of local communities across Morecambe Bay in Better Care Together and we look forward to working with our local population to achieve this.

Claire Molloy, Chief Executive of Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is fantastic news, we have had great feedback from patients and their loved ones about our Integrated Care Teams, which have already proven successful across South Cumbria. This funding will allow us to continue improving care to patients in their own homes and communities, and utilise our skills to further reduce hospital admissions.”

Andrew Bennett, Senior Responsible Officer for Better Care Together, said, “We are absolutely delighted to receive this additional resource. It recognises that the work of eleven NHS and local government organisations, on behalf of the residents of Morecambe Bay, is seeing results.

“This financial award will enable us to build on the work of clinicians and staff, to implement some of our pilot work and improvements sooner than we had hoped.”