Head of new organisation overseeing West Lancashire’s doctors on how controversial healthcare changes will effect patients in the borough
Mike Maguire, the group’s chief officer, said: “It’s about trying to close the inequality gap between more affluent areas and areas like Skemersdale. But it’s about quality as well.
“We want to make sure people get the best service they possibly can.”
Other key areas the group will be focussing on is the burden of chronic disease in an ageing population, and finding better ways of tackling conditions like diabetes, heart disease and dementia.
Crucial to the success of the changes is the involvement and consultation of West Lancashire residents about what it is they want from their health care. The group will be conducting surveys and holding engagement events around the borough’s key healthcare challenges.
And Mr Maguire said: “Our approach is about looking at the top priorities for this area, then working with hospital clinicians, GPs, patients, voluntary organisations to really understand what the real problems are and how we fix them together.”
The group plans to split West Lancs into four areas – neighbourhood groups – of around 30,000 patients clusters.
It is a similar way of working to how the Southport and Formby group has organised itself , and one aim of the West Lancs group is to work closely with their neighbouring CCG to benefit patients using the shared sites of Southport and Ormskirk hospital trust.
Mr Maguire said: “One of legacies we’ve got is that historically the people of West Lancashire and Southport have had different PCTs.
“Services in the two areas were not identical. “We want to get best practice in both areas so people get the best services.
“It also makes it a lot easier for the hospital to have one health economy, one big area that is joined up. Not literally, of course, but it goes back to the theme of seamless care.”
The group will be looking at ways to educate patients better in managing their own conditions.
Dr Caine said: “We want to give patients the confidence and ability to know what they can do with a condition, and have the confidence to know the support is there when they need it.
“Ideally that support is at an early level to prevent them getting more ill but also in the appropriate place, at home or in a community clinic.”
The CCG is also aiming to address a number targets, such as reducing admission to paediatrics, reducing length of hospital stay for dementia admissions and reducing admissions within 30 days for long term conditions.
Dr Caine said: “Whereas GPs were engaged now GPs are leading. The challenge is engagement and getting everybody together to look at solutions – to find out what is our combined vision for how we can get the standard of care we want inŠWestŠLancashire.”