The aspiration of providing integrated care across Morecambe Bay takes a giant leap forward today as more than 300 staff working in community services in North Lancashire join the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), in partnership with Bay Health and Care Partners.
The Community Services teams have successfully transferred from Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and will join their colleagues in South Cumbria who joined the Trust, from Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, on April 1 this year to provide an integrated community services across Morecambe Bay.
Among the benefits anticipated will be:
- consistent community care across Morecambe Bay
- seamless integrated care for our patients
- reduced duplication for our patients
- improved admission and discharge procedures.
Conversations have been held over the past few months with NHS staff and union representatives from across North Lancashire as part of a formal proposal to transfer the employment of the staff to UHMBT. All the staff have been sent a welcome pack which can be used as a handbook for staff providing information regarding workforce-related aspects of working here at the Trust.
Aaron Cummins, Chief Executive, UHMBT, said: “In Morecambe Bay we have been working closely with our Bay Health and Care Partners to develop what healthcare in Morecambe Bay will look like in the future.
“As a health and care system, we want to work in a much more integrated and ‘joined up’ way to improve patient care and experience. This has always been the ambition of our Better Care Together strategy.
“It therefore makes sense to work in a more integrated way across hospital and community care, reducing duplication and allowing the services to offer more consistent care across the whole of Morecambe Bay.
“It’s a move which begins to make a reality of our vision of one NHS working for the public of Morecambe Bay.
“Staff will retain their full terms and conditions when they integrate and we have ensured that they have a full opportunity to discuss plans on how services may develop in the future with their colleagues across the health system.”
Wendy Swift, Chief Executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We fully support UHMBT and their plans to develop more integrated services across Morecambe Bay and this will help them develop services further.
“We would like to thank the staff who are transferring for the fantastic contribution they have made to our Trust. We know they will provide great support to the Better Care Together strategy across Morecambe Bay.’’
Hilary Fordham Chief Operating Officer, Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Bringing all the community staff in Morecambe Bay together makes sense, enabling them to work more closely together will ensure patients and service users in Morecambe Bay receives the best care possible by reducing duplication and building stronger working relationships.”