£89m plan to improve health care

County Coun. Azhar Ali.
County Coun. Azhar Ali.

An £89m plan setting out how health and social care in north Lancashire will be improved has been submitted to central government.

The Lancashire Better Care Fund plan highlights how Lancashire County Council, NHS England, NHS clinical commissioning groups, district councils and other organisations will work together to provide better services.

This plan describes how organisations can meet challenges currently affecting health and social care including an aging population, widening health gaps between different communities, financial constraints and an increase in demand for health and social care.

Proactively identifying people at risk of crisis to coordinate their care, providing them with appointments closer to their homes, enabling faster recovery from a hospital admission and improving administration systems so people don’t have to keep filling in forms are some of the improvements set out in the plan.

The plan has been put together by Lancashire Health and Wellbeing Board, a forum made up of organisations involved in improving people’s health and wellbeing across the county.

County Coun Azhar Ali, chairman of Lancashire Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “The Better Care Fund plans will lead to real improvements for residents with complex health needs.

“Measures like improving training for staff to help prevent people going to hospital, doing more work to identify those at risk of deteriorating health and focusing on the frail and elderly will lead to big improvements in people’s health.

“Providing more coordinated care to cater for people’s specific needs is also an important part of the plans.

“These measures will avoid people getting into crisis situations, provide better quality services and improve value for money by making services more efficient and reducing administrative costs.

“Because each area faces different challenges, the plan sets out some specific priorities for each part of Lancashire.”

Hilary Fordham, chief commissioning officer at NHS Lancashire North Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “By finding ways of enabling our hospital, community and social care services to be much more joined up we can provide a service that offers high standards of care and experience for patients and staff, whilst at the same time reducing both inefficiencies and costs.”

The Better Care Fund will come into effect from 2015 onwards.

The government introduced the Better Care Fund as part of the spending review in 2013.