The CCG has had statutory responsibility for commissioning services for 12 months now and we have spent some time considering what the group has achieved so far. It is worth remembering that we operated in shadow form for a while and so when we were authorised from 1 April 2013 we were ready to begin to implement plans which had been formulated earlier.
As a CCG we were fortunate to cover the same area as the Care Trust Plus from whom we inherited many responsibilies and so have good links with the council.Our plans were informed by the health and wellbeing strategy that was based on an integrated assessment of local needs and developed jointly and endorsed by the Health and Well Being Board. We spent a day reviewing what we had done in 2013/14 and were able to identify a number of things we had achieved which are and will continue to be of benefit to the public. These will be set out in our annual report but briefly include:
- Changes to the mental health services with reduced waiting times for counselling;
- A scheme to enable people to get timely home visits from a GP in surgery hours;
- Co-location of GP out of hours service and the A &E department; and
- A new approach to helping people manage their long-term conditions started in East Blackburn to be extended borough wide over the coming months.
This last initiative involves working with colleagues in social care and people from voluntary, community and faith groups. We intend to replicate this type of integrated service and will be helped in this by voluntary organisations .
I was pleased to hear at a recent meeting of the Family Health and Well Being Consortium that a new initiative called Transforming Lives is to be started in the borough. This will see those people who could benefit from someone coordinating a range of services which support the individual or family to make changes in their lives being offered a chance to get help from one of four teams which will be covering the four localities we are beginning to use as the structure to plan and provide services.
The consortium has had presentations from the area team of NHS England and our Director of Public Health and is in a good position to ensure its members are aware of needs and plans to meet these needs and so suggest where organisations might best make their contribution to efforts to improve health and wellbeing.
Fit for the Future?
The Fit for the Future event held in King George’s Hall held recently was well attended and offered an opportunity for people to tell us and the hospital staff what they think about some of the services currently provided and again suggest how they could be improved. I went from there to the official opening of the Burnley Urgent Care Centre which it is hoped will allow people from the Burnley area to get appropriate help closer to home and so reduce the pressure on the A & E department in Blackburn.
I also went to Manchester to join colleagues and hear about an initiative led by NHS England to transform participation in health and care. They hope to develop schemes which will give the patient and public a more effective voice and therefore greater influence in the design and delivery of services. I hope soon to be able to say more about this and take advantage of the resources available through this programme to strengthen the local arrangements for involvement.