A review of health services in South Cumbria and North Lancashire is being extended to allow a greater focus on out-of-hospital care such as GP services, pharmacies and other community services.
The ‘better care together’ review has focused primarily on services within hospitals.
However, following extensive public engagement, together with advice from leading clinicians and feedback from NHS staff, it became clear that the scope of the programme needs to be widened to look at out-of-hospital care.
This means that more work is needed prior to commencing with a formal consultation, which was originally scheduled for the autumn.
Hugh Reeve, Clinical Chair of Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We have been delighted with the levels of engagement and involvement from a wide range of people across our local communities, including senior doctors and nurses, patients and their families and partner organisations who are all passionate about improving their local NHS.
“Having listened carefully to their feedback, it’s clear that the focus needs to be widened to include the services we provide outside of hospital, including general practice.
“People tell us they want to fully understand the options and opportunities around changing health services before they are expected to give a formal view on this.”