Health leaders across the Fylde Coast have welcomed the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan.
The 133-page plan outlines the priorities for the health service over the next decade.
It describes how the NHS will make sure people get the best start in life, and how patients can expect world-class care for major health problems.
The plan also details how different organisations should work closer together to make sure health and care services are more joined up and delivered in the right place and at the right time for local people and their families.
It outlines how services should be joined up within neighbourhoods – geographical communities with populations of typically between 30,000 to 50,000 – to support people to stay well.
Moreover, the plan describes how the NHS needs to take stronger action to reduce health inequalities, citing premature deaths in Blackpool – the most deprived part of the country – as being twice as high as affluent areas of England. To address health inequalities, the plan states that a bigger share of funding will go to areas with the highest health inequalities.
Dr Amanda Doyle OBE, a local GP and chief clinical officer for both NHS Blackpool and NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), said: “We are delighted that there will be a significant increase in relative investment in primary and community care, which will see expanded neighbourhood teams working together in a more joined up way – from GPs, pharmacists and district nurses to physiotherapists, social care workers and colleagues in the voluntary sector.
“We also applaud the move to strengthen work on preventing ill health and tackling health inequalities. I am proud that we are going further than ever before to improve care quality and outcomes for key priority areas, including cancer, mental health, learning disability and autism, diabetes, stroke and children’s health.
“The plan clearly endorses what we have been doing for some time in terms of partnership working and bringing services together. We enjoy extremely strong working relationships with our local authority partners, as well as those from the voluntary, community and faith sector and the many groups of people who volunteer their time to help shape and improve health and care services.
“We are confident that closer integration of services and partnership working is vital to improve the experience of patients and also to support people to keep well. People often fall through the gaps which exist between organisations; bringing services and teams together will help to stop this.
“We are looking forward to working in partnership with local authority, public sector and voluntary and community organisations over the coming months to involve local people, health and care staff and our partners in the detail of the work which is taking place and how we will deliver the Long Term Plan.”
One example of how closer collaborative work has improved services on the Fylde Coast includes neighbourhood care teams, which bring groups of GP practices together with community health services, social care, mental health services, and others, to provide joined-up health and wellbeing services. Working together in this way, the teams can make a complete assessment of a person’s health, wellbeing and social needs and liaise with their colleagues to make sure they receive the right support.
Another example is work being done in neighbourhoods, often led by patients and the public, to improve health and wellbeing through initiatives which reduce social isolation and boost physical and mental health. Examples include Just Good Friends in Lytham which provides a lifeline for many people who feel isolated and a series of citizens’ inquiries in Blackpool which have opened up conversations with some of our seldom heard residents.
Dr Doyle said: “On the Fylde Coast we were an early pioneer of neighbourhoods and these have helped bring health and care services together with the voluntary sector and local people to improve health and wellbeing. The 10-year plan endorses this and will allow us to further build on this important work.”
Notes to editors