‘Better Care Together’ is a review of local health services. This website explains why the review is happening, our plans and how you can contribute.
The 'Better Care Together' review is being carried out by local NHS organisations:
The review is an opportunity to make sure the best possible health and care services are provided across North Lancashire and South Cumbria, which meet the needs of residents, now and well into the future.
Health professionals in the area, including GPs and hospital doctors, are looking at how health services are provided. They are considering how the different parts of the health and care service can work together more effectively to ensure our population gets the most appropriate care.
It is important for the health professionals carrying out this review to know what you think about local health services, what your priorities are and how you think services should change.
Please take a little time to browse around this website, find out more about this review and how you can get involved.
The July update is available to download here, it includes information on the Roy Lilley visit, the Millom Carnival, Carnforth Health Mela and pioneering video technology plus much more!
Residents in Millom will Receive community support thanks to new initiative
Millom’s annual carnival saw the launch of an exciting community project called CHAIN which will bring together all of the brilliant volunteers in the community to link them up with people who need a helping hand.
CHAIN is short for Community Help and Information Network, and has been created by Better Care Together and Millom Health Action Group who are both partners of the Millom Alliance. It is a cost free service that coordinates volunteers to help other residents with anything from mowing a lawn to doing their shopping.
The overall aim of CHAIN is to help individuals stay in their own homes for longer, improve their health and wellbeing and reduce social isolation.
Jenny Brumby, from Millom Health Action Group who spent the carnival day signing people up, said:
“We are so lucky to have so many selfless volunteers across our 13 communities around Black Combe. We have created CHAIN to support the existing volunteers and encourage people of all ages to become one. Once we have a bank of people we will match volunteers with the people who have come forward to say that they would benefit from extra support.
“We want to organise the help so that it’s all in one place and most importantly keep it free of charge for the community.”
Following on from the carnival parade, hundreds of people visited stalls based at Millom Rugby Club which included a CHAIN stall. CHAIN ambassadors from the community and Better Care Together engaged with over 200 people by handing out wristbands and flyers containing key information about CHAIN. Additionally, on the day individuals who would benefit from extra support along with potential volunteers were encouraged to sign up to become part of this exciting project.
Sheila Watson who lives in Millom said:
“I signed up to CHAIN to volunteer to help others because one day I might need help and it would be nice to know that there would be someone to help me. It’s great to be a part of a giving community where people do help each other.”
Following on from the Carnival day, CHAIN ambassadors including the individuals responsible for producing and delivering the town’s ‘Around the Combe’ magazine, will continue to promote the initiative by sharing information and signing up local people who would benefit from extra support and putting them in touch with people who have volunteered to help.
Jenny Brumby added:
“The self-worth you feel from helping others is very fulfilling and we want to create that chain of selflessness.”
The CHAIN initiative is available at no cost to everyone living from Waberthwaite to Broughton in the ‘Around the Combe’ communities.
Weekly Update - CHOC
New video technology allows Millom patient to have their out of hours appointment closer to home
Virtual out of hours GP appointments are now being offered by a state of the art video link between Millom Community Hospital and Cumbria Health on Call (CHOC) headquarters in Carlisle.
This development for patients in Millom is thanks to work done within the Millom Alliance including a partnership between Better Care Together and CHOC. It means that some patients can avoid a 45 minute journey to attend a face to face appointment at Furness General Hospital.
The new video technology based in Millom Community Hospital means that on Saturdays between 9.00am and 1.30pm, appropriate patients will be offered the option of a consultation with a CHOC GP via a video link.
By using a high definition video screen and webcam the out of hours GP from Carlisle can virtually assess the patient and decide the best course of action which may include a prescription being sent electronically to one of the local pharmacies.
Susan Blakemore Chief Executive for CHOC said:
‘This innovation is to ensure safe care can be provided to patients in remote and rural locations. I am delighted that it is making a difference to patients within the Millom community and this will help CHOC to be part of a wider rollout of Telehealth consultations for the population in Cumbria.'
The aim of the service is to provide the public with fast, secure access to health care professionals, without having to travel in order to do so.
New video technology allows Millom patients to have their out of hours appointment closer to home
Virtual out of hours GP appointments are now being offered by a state of the art video
link between Millom Community Hospital and Cumbria Health on Call (CHOC) headquarters in Carlisle.
This development for patients in Millom is thanks to work done within the Millom Alliance including a partnership between Better Care Together and Cumbria Health on Call (CHOC). It means that some patients can avoid a 45 minute journey to attend a face to face appointment at Furness General Hospital.
The new video technology based in Millom Community Hospital means that on Saturdays between 9.00am and 1.30pm, suitable patients will be offered the option of a consultation with a CHOC GP via a video link. The service opening times are to coincide with the opening hours of the local pharmacies in Millom on Saturdays.
By using a high definition video screen and webcam the out of hours GP from Carlisle can assess the patient without physically being in the same room as them. The GP can then decide the best course of action which may include a prescription being sent electronically to one of the local pharmacies.
Dr Neil Margerison, Medical Director for CHOC said:
“Using the telehealth technology a CHOC clinician can assess various health conditions that are seen in primary care. Sore throats, eye conditions, skin conditions and joint problems are all examples of what has been dealt with so far. The service enables patients to be managed safely without them having to make the journey from Millom to Barrow and back.”
The aim of the service is to provide the public with fast, secure access to health care professionals, without having to travel in order to do so. Using video technology to deliver healthcare not only reduces the amount of travel time and effort required, it potentially means that CHOC are able to see an increased number of patients per day.
Video consultations have already been used successfully in Millom every weekend since it went live at the end of April.
Patient Mr Jopson had his appointment using the new technology based in Millom Community Hospital and said:
"I think this is marvellous; I would be happy to do this style appointment again."
The video consultations in Millom Community Hospital are operated by a qualified healthcare assistant who also supports the consultation by collecting relevant information for the clinician.
Suzanne Cameron, Health Assistant based at Millom Community Hospital said:
“My job is to welcome patients on their arrival at the hospital and to make the video consultation as comfortable as possible for them. I am available to collect information for the GP including the patient’s blood pressure and temperature.”
Suzanne has access to a HD examination camera which is able to zoom in and provide high definition video or still images of a particular part of the body which can be seen by the GP.
Having a video consultation appointment is an option and patients can still travel further afield for an appointment if they wish. Additionally, patients may still need to travel for a face to face appointment if the clinician believes this is necessary following the telehealth consultation.
Dr Neil Margerison added:
“Where patients are advised after a telehealth consultation that their condition requires management at one of the larger centres, they can travel to this appointment in the knowledge that their journey will be worthwhile.”
Susan Blakemore, Chief Executive for CHOC said:
“CHOC is leading technology enabled care during the out of hours period. This innovation is to ensure safe care can be provided to patients in remote and rural locations. I am delighted that it is making a difference to patients within the Millom community and this will help CHOC to be part of a wider rollout of telehealth consultations for the population in Cumbria.”
To access this new service patients need to follow the existing out of hours triage process by calling 111 or by being passed to CHOC directly, for example via a paramedic. Under no circumstances will drop in appointments for video consultation be accepted. In the event of a walk in, the patient will be advised to ring 111.
To download a copy of the weekly update, click here
ROY LILLEY AND DR TERRI PORRETT THINK MORECAMBE BAY IS "ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS"
Writer and commentator Roy Lilley and colleague Dr Terri Porrett from the Academy of Fabulous NHS Stuff visited Morecambe Bay on Friday 8 July to find out more about some of the fantastic work ongoing through Better Care Together (BCT).
The academy shares all the fabulous things about the NHS to ensure best practice examples, great ideas and service solutions are available to all within the NHS.
They began their day by visiting Carnforth’s Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School where they met school children and found our more about the "Let’s get..." social movement programme.
Their tour then moved to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) – and their first stop was a collaboration, funded by Better Care Together, between the Hospital Alcohol Liaison Service and the Red Rose Recovery Team which has seen some fantastic success in preventing re-admissions for patients with alcohol issues.
Other teams they visited were:
A Listening into Action Pass it On event
The Delayed Transfer Of Care team (DTOC)
The team leading virtual clinics and innovative technology for BCT
The Advice and Guidance team (A&G is a web-based system, which allows GPs to easily access patient-specific guidance from local hospital specialists using secure two-way electronic conversations).
Roy Lilley said: "The day has been absolutely fantastic and Morecambe Bay staff should be very proud of what they have achieved so far.
"I leave staff with my ABC. Always be a champion, champion yourself be the best that you can be at what you can do. Ask yourself, how do I know? That what I did today could be the best that I could’ve done. You’ll only find that out by looking and sharing and being a champion for best practice."
Roy and Terri also enjoyed afternoon tea on Ward 20 at the RLI where they served Dementia staff and patients. Roy then got hands on in the kitchens where he made a stir fry for that evening’s patient meals and found out more about the Trust’s Flourish campaign.