(a) To receive a presentation.
(b) To receive a paper from the Success Regime (copy to follow).
Members received a presentation from Sir Neil McKay of the Cumbria Success Regime on developing safe and sustainable services for West, North and East Cumbria. Key themes included the concept that proposals would be developed and implemented together, that safety, care and quality in the acute trust were paramount and that a strategy was required for maternity services which remained fragile. A public consultation setting out the options and case for change would commence after European referendum. Members heard the challenges that Cumbria faced in terms of the super aging population, disparity in life expectancy across the county, the financial and geographic difficulties and the strategies for addressing them including initiatives to deal with recruitment problems and the concerns over the quality of some services which would involve developing stronger links with other trusts with particular expertise. Members agreed that key to the success of any proposals would be a simplification of structures and a significant cultural change to make improvement a reality. In discussing the plans to establish an Independent Care Community members were advised that mental health services and children would be at the heart of any arrangements and that a significant appointment of an eminent professor jointly between the acute trust and the University of Central Lancashire was expected shortly. This would be a key milestone and such an appointment would contribute to attracting other key staff and create an environment staff would be keen to join. It was acknowledged that performance of the authority had not been good enough and the success regime was charged with developing a sustainable transformation plan with an implementation and delivery plan alongside.
Summary of responses to questions from Members
Sir Neil regretted that it had not been possible to release copies of the submission to CQC (Care Quality Commission) to members but this would be made available within days.
In relation to the need for advanced technology and improvements to the infrastructure members noted that money would need to be prioritised to support IT investment as required. The clear message was that additional funds were not likely to be forthcoming the proposals for the system would focus on using the existing resources more efficiently and effectively.
Consideration was being given to moving less complex surgery from Carlisle to Whitehaven but this needed to be viewed in the context that patients had a choice of where they were referred to eg. Some Carlisle patients may prefer to go to Newcastle given the long standing links between the two areas and the ease of travel etc.
In terms of changes to the ways GP’s operated this would accelerate with the introduction of the Integrated Care Community which in turn would impact on the quicker discharge from hospital of patients and ultimately fewer admissions with changes to the way in which clinicians worked.
In terms of public engagement it would be possible to adjust plans for particular locations and to provide members with details on the amount of money spent/allocated for consultants/public engagement. Members were advised that additional funds had been allocated for this purpose.
Members thanked Sir Neil for his presentation and for making himself available to respond to members questions.