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Lancashire agrees £89m plan to improve health and social care


AN £89 million plan setting out how health and social care in Lancashire will be improved has been submitted to central government.

The Lancashire Better Care Fund plan highlights how Lancashire County Council, NHS England, NHS clinical commissioning groups and other organisations will work together to provide better services.

This plan ensures organisations can meet challenges currently affecting health and social care including an aging population, widening health gaps between different communities, financial constraints and an increase in demand for health and social care.

Reducing people’s stay at hospitals to free-up beds, providing outpatient appointments closer to people’s homes and improving administration systems so people don’t have to keep filling in forms are some of the improvements set out in the plan.

The plan has been put together by Lancashire Health and Wellbeing Board, a forum made up of organisations involved in public health and social care across the county.

County Councillor Azhar Ali, chairman of Lancashire Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “The Better Care Fund plans will lead to real improvements to residents with complex health needs.

“Measures like improving training for staff to help prevent people going to hospital, doing more work to identify those at risk of deteriorating health and focusing on the frail and elderly will lead to big improvements in people’s health. Providing more coordinated care to cater for people’s specific needs is also an important part of the plans.

“These measures will avoid people getting into crisis situations, provide better quality services and improve value for money by making services more efficient and reducing administrative costs.

“Because each area faces different challenges, the plan sets out some specific priorities for each part of Lancashire.”

Mike Maguire, chief officer at NHS West Lancashire CCG, added: “Health services are carefully designed to cater for many different individual requirements within our local community, so that everyone can rely on them as and when they need to.

“The Better Care Fund is about combining health and social care services so patients receive a more joined up streamlined approach to their care. These plans for the Better Care Fund have involved us working closely with other organisations such as Lancashire County Council, and are designed specifically for West Lancashire and have taken into account the existing local need.”

The Better Care Fund will come into effect from 2015 onwards.

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