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Health

Clare will be building links between the NHS and Third Sector

Clare Edwards health partnerships officer

[B]uilding relationships with the Third Sector as health and care services become more integrated will be a priority for the new health partnerships officer.

Clare Edwards, who has a long history of representing Third Sector organisations, is taking up the new role which is funded by the NHS, but based with Cumbria CVS.

Clare said: “I know from first-hand experience just how tough it can be to get meaningful dialogue going with staff from the health sector but I also know how exciting it can be when relationships work and great new services are developed.

“It is an exciting time in the world of health and care in North Cumbria, a lot of this excitement is being generated by the buzz around our new Integrated Care Communities.

“I wanted this job because I feel building integrated care in communities provides a real opportunity to think differently and explore new ways to work across sectors in communities that I love.”

As health and care services are working together more closely than ever before, there are real opportunities to build stronger relationships and ensure the voices of those organisations, and the patients and communities they represent, are involved in shaping those services.

Prof John Howarth, director of service improvement and deputy chief executive for North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust (NCUHT) and Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trusts (CPFT), said: “This is a very exciting moment for our health and care services and there is a real opportunity for us to make sure the Third Sector is part of that change and is sharing its expertise, helping us to co-produce our services for the future together.”

Mike Taylor, chair of the Action for Health Network, part of Cumbria CVS, said: “It is fantastic to have a dedicated member of staff working to strengthen these important relationships, it shows real commitment from the NHS to work with the many groups across Cumbria that are providing amazing support to many in our communities.”

Integrated Care Communities are a really great opportunity for the third sector to work alongside health and care staff to develop and deliver innovative, effective new ways of working that show case the best from all sectors and always have local community at their heart.

The health partnerships officer role has been funded for two years.

Clare has most recently worked as project and funding manager at West Cumbria Carers, and before that as a grants development officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, and with the West Cumbria branch of the Alzheimer’s Disease Society, and Allerdale Disability Association. She has also worked as a carer, and trained as a nurse.

Clare started work on May 1 and will prioritise meeting Third Sector organisations so she can find out directly about their priorities and challenges.

She will be working with the eight integrated care communities to ensure those valuable links are in place as the ICCs develop.

More information about ICCs can be found here: www.northcumbriaccg.nhs.uk/about-us/ICCs/iccs.aspx

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