[N]HS Lancashire North Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group have confirmed that they have been given approval by NHS England to proceed with a change to their organisational boundaries. As a result of the boundary change there will be a new NHS Morecambe Bay CCG and a newly configured NHS North Cumbria CCG.
Morecambe Bay CCG will cover the localities of North Lancashire together with South Lakes and Furness in South Cumbria. North Cumbria CCG will cover the localities of Allerdale, Carlisle, Copeland and Eden.
The boundary change comes as a result of several months discussion with patient representatives, general practices, NHS and local government partners and staff members. The changes build on much of the work undertaken by the NHS across Morecambe Bay as part of the “Better Care Together” strategy. In North Cumbria a similar commitment has been made by local organisations to respond to the Success Regime through the health care for the future of West, North and East Cumbria consultation.
Both CCGs agree that the changes will make local commissioning arrangements simpler and more efficient as well as paving the way to greater integration of health and social care services in both Morecambe Bay and North Cumbria. The move is consistent with the arrangements for more specialised health services and workforce development which link Morecambe Bay to the rest of Lancashire and North Cumbria to the North East. In addition, the recently announced Sustainability and Transformation Plan footprints placed north and south Cumbria in different areas.
Peter Rooney, Chief Operating Officer for NHS Cumbria CCG, said: “Increasingly Cumbria has been seen as being part of two distinct healthcare systems. Because of this, we looked at a number of options and agreed the boundary change was the most appropriate way forward for Cumbria and North Lancashire.”
Andrew Bennett, Chief Officer Lancashire North CCG, said: “We have worked very closely with our colleagues in Cumbria in recent years and believe these changes make sense for the communities we serve in North Cumbria and Morecambe Bay.”
The CCG boundary change is also leading to some changes in the functions undertaken by the local offices of NHS England in Cumbria and Lancashire. From April 1st 2017, those contracts and responsibilities in South Cumbria that are currently managed by the Cumbria and North East team will transfer to NHS England’s Lancashire team, which will become known as NHS England (Lancashire and South Cumbria.)
Jane Higgs, Locality Director NHS England (Lancashire) said: “Changing CCG and NHS England boundaries to match the Lancashire and South Cumbria health care system and planning footprint will benefit local organisations by reducing duplication and making it easier to plan services for the population in this area.”