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Improvement project to inform future of mental health services

Stephen Eames

A service improvement project for mental health, learning disability and autism services for adults and children across Cumbria will take place over the autumn.

The project is part of the year long piece of work to address the future of services in the county to ensure they can be delivered into the integrated health and care systems that cover north and south Cumbria from April 2019.

In April this year it was confirmed that Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust would work with colleagues at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust (LCFT) and Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW) to explore the future options of how mental health services across Cumbria can be delivered.

The organisations have now completed work to establish the possibility of formal arrangements and the boards of each organisation have agreed to develop an outline business case.  The outline business case will need to include details of clinical pathways for patients and the service improvement project will form part of that.

All three Trusts are in agreement that patients must be at the centre of the plans and they must reflect the needs of patients.

The service improvement project will include a number of listening events with service users, carers, families and partners and will take account of engagement activities that are already underway, for example the Thrive project for CAMHS services in south Cumbria.  The project will also reach out to service users, carers and families to ensure a wide representation.

The events will take place during September and will be run by service improvement experts from Trust Innovations.  The outcomes will be shared with the stakeholder advisory group that was set up by Stephen Eames, Chief Executive of Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The dates of the events are as follows and further details will be issued in due course:

Carlisle sessions to be held at The Shepherds Inn:

  • Monday 10th, Tuesday 11th, Wednesday 13th  and Thursday 14th September 2018

Barrow sessions to be held at The Forum 28:

  • Monday 17th, Tuesday 18th, Wednesday 19th and Friday 21st September 2018

Stephen Eames, Chief Executive of Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “The service improvement project is important because it provides a unique opportunity to improve the quality of services we are able to provide for patients across Cumbria.  It is crucial that services can be delivered locally into communities across Cumbria as part of the emerging integrated care communities. We know that more specialist services are difficult to sustain on a countywide footprint, which is why we are seeking formal arrangements with larger providers in the North East and Lancashire.  We hope that through these arrangements we can address some of the very real challenges we are facing in improving the quality of our services.”

It is expected that a full business case will completed by the end of year with a view to implementation from April 2019.

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