Eleven organisations have been working hard together in Morecambe Bay for the last four years to improve the delivery and outcomes of health and care for our communities. The organisations involved make up the Bay Health & Care Partners (BHCP).
In 2014, BHCP developed a shared plan for our population called ‘Better Care Together’. It set out a bold ambition for the future of the local NHS and care services. Our ambition was to make integrated care a reality for the communities of North Lancashire and South Cumbria. This strategy identified many of the opportunities set out at the same time by national leaders in the NHS Five Year Forward View.
We have already made significant progress and tackled some difficult issues together. Local doctors and care professionals from our partner organisations have begun to implement the new models of care we set out in Better Care Together. We have used our status as a vanguard community to establish Integrated Care Communities which will provide more joined up NHS and social care services closer to people’s homes. Senior clinical and organisational leaders have worked closely together over a sustained period of time, improving the quality of clinical services and taking action to develop the workforce.
Working better together brings many benefits to the diverse local communities we serve. It is vital if we are to tackle some of the toughest problems we face. The financial pressure we face in Morecambe Bay is one of the main reasons for acting now. It is no longer an option for us to continue doing things the way we always have done, because we simply can’t afford to.
Bay Health and Care Partners have therefore set out a plan for Morecambe Bay. It contains a proposition for a new Accountable Care System in which local organisations take responsibility for the health and wellbeing of the whole population. We believe this is necessary because we cannot fully realise the benefits of the Better Care Together strategy for our residents within the constraints of our current ways of working.
The plan describes how we will meet the needs of the population, covering the scope, deliverables and benefits. It also sets out the proposed governance arrangements for shared decision making, what steps we propose taking to establish system leadership arrangements, so that accountability for health and care can be held collectively across the system.
The Journey so Far
Better Care Together
Better Care Together’ is a review of health and social care services. It is being led by the following eleven health organisations
- University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT)
- Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group (MBCCG)
- North West Ambulance Service
- Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
- Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group
- Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust
- Lancashire County Council
- Cumbria County Council
- North Lancashire Medical Services (GP Federation)
- South Cumbria Primary Care Collaborative (GP Federation)
Better Care Together Vision
Delivering a better future for health and wellbeing by:
- Enabling our communities to be as healthy as possible.
- Making sure that health and care services are provided across North Lancashire and South Cumbria are the best possible.
- Meeting the needs of the local population, now and well into the future.
- Making sure women’s, men’s, mental health, children’s, and older people’s services receiving equal priority with all other areas of care.
How we plan to do this:
- Health professionals will work in local sites sharing their expertise with GPs and community teams.
- They will also work in partnership with people to keep people fit and well.
- They will help people manage their own condition—this could be at home or in their local community.
- Developing an ‘Accountable Care System’, to allow organisations to work more closely together.
The New Care Model
Health professionals from across Morecambe Bay have developed the new health and care model which will see:
- Health services like GP surgeries and hospital services working as one health system. This will improve the health of the local population.
- Integrated Care Teams (combined teams) of staff who are experts in mental, physical, social and voluntary care, working in local communities across Morecambe Bay.
- Increased focus on self care where it is safe and possible. This includes care planning for people who are vulnerable e.g. people with complex illnesses. Teams supporting people with complex and long-term conditions.
- Care Navigators helping coordinate care for people with complex conditions. They will try to keep people safely at home where possible rather than having unnecessary admissions to hospital.
- Health professionals and specialists (like hospital consultants) will work more in community sites to reduce travel time for people.
- A Referral Support System will support GPs to refer the patient to the right place at the right time and where possible reduce patient travel.
- Children’s services, like adult services, will have more integrated care. Safe hospitals providing services like Accident and Emergency, and the specialist care that only hospitals can give.