Cumbria Crack

Trusts look back on achievements ahead of merger

Two Cumbrian NHS health trusts held their annual meeting in Penrith last Thursday to look back at their achievements for patients and staff and outline plans to tackle challenges in the future.

Professor Robin Talbot, Chair opened the meeting by announcing that the merger between North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust (NCUH) and Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) had been approved earlier that day by the Governors Council &

Board of Directors. The merger of the two organisations will form North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC)

Michael Smillie Director of Finance & Estates presented the annual report and accounts for both organisations for 2018/19 including progress we have made for patients and staff and where our money is spent.

Professor Stephen Eames CBE

Chief Executive Professor Stephen Eames CBE then set out his ambition for the future of NCIC as a different sort of NHS organisation.  He signalled that the inclusion of the word ‘integrated care’ in the title would set it apart from what has gone before with the organisation working side by side with partners and the wider community to join up health and care for patients.  He also pledged that NCIC would become more embedded in local communities with the purpose of advancing wellbeing, not just caring for them.

He said, “The NHS is a major employer in the region and we need to work better together with our partners to offer better opportunities for young people and buck the trend of young people leaving the County.   We need to play our part in tackling the climate emergency through sustainable plans,  spending more of our money locally, and supporting the economy here in Cumbria to thrive, there’s now a real opportunity for us to do that in NCIC .”

Over 70 people attended the meeting including many members of the CPFT Governors Council who played an important role in holding members of the board of directors to account throughout the planning for the mental health transfer and the merger.

Following the presentations which included an overview of the activities and plans of the CPFT Governors Council by the Lead Governor Jane Smith and Deputy Lead Governor Keith Amey, members attending had the opportunity to ask questions which provided healthy challenge from members with topics including the mental health transfer, finances, bed reductions, and the UK exit from the European Union.

Professor Stephen Eames and Professor Talbot gave thanks to those attending and recognised the value of governors and members of the wider community questioning and challenging what we are doing.  He also paid tribute to our staff who are behind all the progress we have made and the huge amount of people going above and beyond every day across our services.

On 1st October 2019 at the same time that CPFT and NCUH merge, mental health, learning disability and CAMHS services will transfer to Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust & Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust.  Although 1000 members of staff will transfer to the employment of NTW & LCFT, staff and services will remain in Cumbria working with us a vital part of the integrated health and care system.

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