[T]he future of mental health services including child and adolescent mental health and learning disability services across Cumbria will be addressed over the coming year.
Commissioners of current services have confirmed that services need to be delivered into the integrated health and care systems covering North and South Cumbria from April 2019.
Stephen Eames, Chief Executive of Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said “It is vital that mental health services can be delivered in a joined up way with other local services to meet the needs of the local population. We will be working with our staff, partners and communities to work out how we can do this in a way that provides a better deal for patients in Cumbria. To do this, it is likely that this will be through formal arrangements with our colleagues in Lancashire Care and Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.”
Morecambe Bay NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group have worked with senior clinicians and executive leaders from Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to agree a set of principles designed to improve the quality of services offered to patients locally – the primary one being that patients are at the heart of any future plans.
Stephen continues “I’m clear that any future arrangements must be better for our patients. We also want our services to attract staff to work in Cumbria, and to deliver services in a way that builds on the existing relationships we already have with our partners.
“In Cumbria we have some fantastic staff and services. However we know that for some pathways it has been difficult for us to provide a high quality sustainable service within the Cumbrian footprint.”
The work will happen over the next 12 months, starting with a period of ‘due diligence’ to look at the current arrangements of each service in detail so that options can be developed.
Peter Rooney, Chief Operating Officer of NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group said: “CPFT does many things well and has made significant improvements in culture, values and behaviours. They have seen improvements in the patient and staff survey and in several specific pathways such as personality disorders and psychiatric liaison. However to in order to continue the improvement journey, they require at least some strong partnerships with larger providers to ensure that mental health services are sustainable locally, how that looks needs to be worked through with our staff, communities and partners in the coming year.”
As part of this work, a stakeholder advisory group will be established to advise the mental health partnership board on engaging with staff, service users and carers, partners and the wider community. Anyone wishing to find out more should contact Kath Hughes, Head of Engagement and Communications on 01228 602124 or [email protected]