The next five years: Bay Health and Care Partners seek public’s views on plans

Morecambe Bay’s strategic health partnership is inviting the public to help shape its priorities for the next five years. 

Bay Health and Care Partners (BHCP)made up of local GPs, hospitals, as well as doctors, nurses and community carehave been working together since 2014 to deliver a plan, “Better Care Together”, to improve health and social care services across the area.  

BHCP is now starting preparations on its five-year strategy, which it will submit to NHS England in November. The challenges it faces, and its priorities to tackle those challenges, will be the focus of the strategy. 

Morecambe Bay’s health challenges include: 

  • Significant health inequalities across Morecambe Bay’s communities – there is a 14-16 year gap in life expectancy between different areas, 
  • The local population is already older than the national average and it is ageing more rapidly than other places ,
  • The NHS expects that 85% of people who require cancer treatment receive that care within 62 days of being referred: at present only 77% of people locally are being treated. This means that 72 people a month are not being treated within the required timescales,
  • We are spending £70m more than we receive from Government and many of our services cost significantly more than similar areas – even taking into account our geography and demography.

Colleagues across the health and social care system have suggested five draft priorities they want people to help shape by giving their feedback via a survey or at a Bay Health and Care Partners Citizen’s Assembly.

To tackle the challenges faced in Morecambe Bay, BHCP’s prioritiesare:  

  1. Taking more action on prevention and health inequalities through a population health approach,
  1. Further strengthen the sustainability of general practice and provide improved care through Integrated care communitiesand new Primary Care Networks
  1. Deliver care that will prioritise real improvements in mental health, cancer, emergency care and planned care and meet national standards
  1. Improve financial sustainability alongside the quality of service delivery,
  1. Develop and deliver more integrated care locally using the new NHS infrastructure at three levels: Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System; Morecambe Bay Integrated Care Partnership; and Integrated Care Community & Primary Care Network.

Geoff Joliffe, Clinical Chair of Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We want to listen to the public, patients and the wider community to make sure we’re tackling the challenges for our local health and social care for the next five years. Please fill in a survey, or come to an Assembly,and share your views.

“Our goals for Morecambe Bay are, first, that we want better health for the whole population, making sure people in deprived communities enjoy the same wellbeing as the most affluent. Second, we want patients and carers to experience better quality care. Finally, we want motivated, happy staff, all while living within our financial means.

Residents across the area are being invited to join the Bay Health and Care Partners Citizen’s Assembly. More than 300 people have signed up already and they are invited to attend events being held at the end of August and beginning of September. The events will be held in Barrow, Kendal and Lancaster to discuss the provision for health and care services across Morecambe Bay.