[T]he West, North and East Cumbria Success Regime programme has come to an end.
The national scheme was announced for three areas in June 2015 by the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt.
It brought together the organisations in the north Cumbrian health system to tackle the long-standing and deep-rooted problems which have dogged the health economy. It was tasked with developing a workable plan to create a sustainable health care system for the future.
It culminated in the Healthcare For The Future consultation which ran between 26 September and 19 December 2016, with decisions made in public by NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) Governing Body in March.
The last 18 months have seen the health providers and commissioners work in a much more integrated way, and this will be continued with our partners in social care and the wider community through the West, North and East (WNE) Cumbria Health and Care Partnership – the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) for our area.
Stephen Eames, the chief executive of North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust and the lead for the STP, said: “We now have a credible plan for delivering a sustainable health service for our communities. We recognise that it has been a challenging time for staff and our communities while we have had these difficult conversations and made difficult decisions.
“I would like to thank Sir Neil McKay for his role in steering the Success Regime process. It brought the long standing problems in our health system into very sharp focus and made our health leaders looks for meaningful and creative solutions. Carrying on as we were was not an option.
“It is also a real achievement that our health services have made significant improvements during this very challenging time.”
In the last few months we have reported:
- North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust (NCUH) is out of special measures.
- Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) has seen its Children’s Services rated as good.
- Cumbria has the highest proportion of outstanding and good GP Practices in the north and the second highest in England.
- Cumbria Health on Call (CHOC), the county’s out of hours GP service, has been rated as outstanding. It is the first in the country to receive this rating
under the new CQC system.
The consultation focused on six areas of service change, five of which were accepted by Cumbria County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee in March. The decision on maternity services has been referred to the Secretary of State, and the health system will co-operate fully with the next steps, as soon as that process is made clear.
The Success Regime has helped establish stronger integrated working across the system and supported the early development of Integrated Care Communities, which will see health and social care services working much more closely with General Practice to provide a more patient-centred service closer to home.
Our WNE Cumbria system is also developing new partnerships with specialist providers, which will bring real tangible benefits to Cumbrian patients as links are strengthened with the Cancer Network and the Great North Children’s Hospital.
This work will be taken forward by the West, North and East Cumbria Health and Care Partnership.
Stephen Childs, chief executive of NHS North Cumbria CCG, said: “We are now focusing on the future and how to involve our communities at a much earlier stage, sharing the challenges the NHS here faces in a much more transparent way, and most importantly developing the solutions together.
“We have already committed to the process of co-production – or put more simply, working together – around community hospitals and the maternity and paediatric services and will do much more of this as we move forward.
“There is a still a long way to go, but West, North and East Cumbria has a very clear vision, a very credible plan and the confidence of the health system, both locally and nationally.”