In February 2015 we released the Better Care Together strategy document, which can be found here  (a summary can be found here).


‘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.


Latest News

24 June 2016 Weekly Update - Mental health

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 Dedicated mental Health Nurse


Thanks to a partnership between University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) and Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) Patients who require mental health support whilst in Furness General Hospital (FGH) can now benefit from a dedicated mental health liaison nurse on site.

Previously mental health liaison was only available via the Access and Liaison Integrated Mental Health Service (ALIS). This could cause delays in patients being seen by the team, who are not based at FGH.

Thanks to partnership working between the two trusts, there are now four mental health liaison nurses dedicated to FGH. Whilst they remain part of the wider ALIS, they are an extra resource and are based within the hospital.

There are two parts to the mental health liaison nurse role:

1. When people present at FGH’s Emergency Department having self-harmed, they are assessed by the mental health liaison nurse within two hours, with an option to have 72 hour or short term support. If required, they may then be referred to other services for ongoing support

2. When people with pre-existing mental health issues are staying on hospital wards for physical health issues, the mental health liaison nurses visit them every day to provide mental health support, alongside the physical care provided by doctors and nurses on the ward

Sue Smith, Executive Chief Nurse, UHMBT, said: "Providing hospital care isn’t just about treating the physical symptoms. Sometimes, our patients require support for various different mental health issues, and we want to be able to provide this as quickly as possible for those who need it.

"Working with CPFT has allowed us to develop specific roles for patients in FGH that mean they get quick and dedicated access to mental health support when in hospital or attending our Emergency Department. This is a fantastic example of how working closely with other healthcare providers in the area can really improve services for patients and local people."

Stuart Beatson, Associate Medical Director for Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: "This is a very positive step in improving access to crisis care, and is part of the Better Care Together initiative. By working closely with our partners at UHMBT, we can now provide people with better access to mental health support, quickly, and when and where they need it the most."

CPFT also provide the same service at the two acute hospitals in the north of the County - West Cumberland Hospital and Cumberland Infirmary.

17 June 2016 Weekly Update - Carnforth Health Mela

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First Carnforth Health Mela a community health fair is to be held on Saturday, June 25th at Carnforth High School, 11.00 am – 4.00 pm.

Carnforth is right on track for a fun filled family festival of health and wellbeing as it holds its first ever Health Mela on Saturday, June 25th. If you are in North Lancashire on the day, head for Carnforth High School, Kellet Road, LA5 9LS. Bring all the family and take advantage of everything on offer at this unique event. Admission, parking and health checks are all free.

Come and take advantage of the friendly informal atmosphere and maybe check in for a comprehensive ‘Health MOT’ which includes measurement of height, weight, BMI, cholesterol and blood sugar. The MOT is conducted by a team of health professionals who also offer personal lifestyle advice.

The Mela, the first event of its kind to be held in Carnforth, has been organised by members of Cumbria and Lancashire Rotary working in collaboration with the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing, NHS Lancashire North Clinical Commissioning Group, Better Care Together and Carnforth High School. The event will begin at 11am with former Mayor of Carnforth, Malcolm Watkins and Guest of Honour, Dr Chris Moulton, Vice President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.

In addition to the health checks visitors to the Mela will find:

 Dozens of colourful stalls packed with information and advice on healthy living.

 Opportunities for makeovers and gym induction

 Advice about services for older people, hearing, eyesight and oral health and children’s mental health

 The chance to experience complementary medicine eg a Reiki taster session.

 Fun games and competitions for children including a smoothie bike and Teddy Bears’ clinic,

 and much, much more!

Speaking about the event, Professor Romesh Gupta, OBE, Chair of the National Forum for health and wellbeing said,

‘We are really delighted to have this opportunity, with the essential support of our partners, to extend the reach of Health Melas into North Lancashire.

Health Melas provide an opportunity for communities to find out more about the conditions and opportunities for healthy living and help to ensure that vital NHS resources are put to the best use.

It is particularly pleasing that this event has the enthusiastic collaboration of the staff and pupils of Carnforth High School and local primary schools. It shows how the Health Mela can act as a catalyst to energise the vital role of education in the promotion of good health and community wellbeing.’

Dr Andy Knox, a local GP and NHS Lancashire North CCG Executive Lead Health and Wellbeing said

‘This is a fantastic way of getting individuals and families interested in improving their own health and wellbeing whilst also having fun. This event really supports the work being carried out as part of the ongoing ‘Carnforth Conversation’ about health and wellbeing as part of the Better Care Together programme.

13 June 2016 Global Wellness Day

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Global Wellness Day

One day can change your whole life

Global Wellness Day is celebrated on the 2nd Saturday of June every year. The aim is simple, to promote a health and wellbeing. The slogan ‘One day can change your whole life’ encourages small steps in improving your own health and wellbeing. Tackling mental health problems, such as depression is a cornerstone of Global Wellness Day.

This year Global Wellness Day falls on the 11th June, which also marks the 2nd day of the Euro 2016 championship and also England’s first game. This presents a great opportunity to show the benefits of physical exercise in tackling mental health problems.

One such example is a football group set up in Barrow to help tackle the increasing problem of depression and isolation. NHS colleagues, from Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Warren Thompson and Thomas Kearney worked with AFC Barrow to set up the project, provide safe training facilities and coaches to help the patients turned players.

Thomas Kearney said "I am very proud to have initiated this project through contacting Carlisle United and obtaining funding from my NHS Trust. Recently one of the members recently received a Carlisle United Community Trust Award and his story featured in the local paper and reflects the positive effect upon mental health, social integration and self-confidence that this group has had upon him and many of those participating"

The group has shown initial successes and it is hoped can be replicated across the area to help as many people as possible. Anyone who feels they might benefit from this group should speak to their care co-ordinator or their mental health professional. The group is open to both men and women.

13 June 2016 Advice and Guidance Press Release

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A scheme offering GPs advice from hospital specialists when they are unsure whether to refer a patient to hospital has been showcased at an event in London.

The Advice and Guidance scheme was introduced as a pilot in north Lancashire in 2014 and has now expanded to cover 16 specialties across the Morecambe Bay area. It was showcased at a national event looking at building on the e-referral system.

The system offers the opportunity for GPs to seek advice via an electronic "conversation" with a hospital consultant on a patient where they have a query.

The latest figures released covering the period between April 2015 and March 2016 show that of the 1,919 "conversations" begun by GPs to specialists (that would have previously been a direct referral to hospital for an outpatient appointment.) 655 (34%) patients were managed under the care of the GP with advice from a specialist. This has resulted in less travel for healthcare for hundreds of people across the Morecambe Bay area.

"Over the next few months we will be expanding the Advice and Guidance specialty list. Our target by the end of the year is to increase the number of specialties to 19," said Dr George Dingle, a GP in the Morecambe Bay area.

"Its gratifying that we have national interest in our scheme, which has already seen great successes. It is clear that we have already seen benefits for the patients across Morecambe Bay."

3 June 2016 Weekly update 03.06.2016

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Ring worm.PNGAs part of a Better Care Together initiative, Dr Andy Knox, a GP in Morecambe Bay, has created the videos to help promote health and wellbeing to the public.

The videos cover a range of common health problems, such as earache, ringworm, eczema, head lice and sore throats; In total five videos have been created for the first series, with more planned for the future.

Dr Knox said "The problems identified in the videos are common and by following the advice many will clear up on their own. Should the symptoms persist we would always recommend you contact your GP."

"The videos aim to help people care for themselves without the hassle of making an appointment with their GP. They also aim to help the public save on unnecessary travel and additional expense, by managing the ailments simply by watching the videos at home and following the advice."

"We’re already planning the next set of films, with the aim of creating a suite of short films to help people care for themselves at home. It will be fantastic to have a whole library of local knowledge available as a first port of call for our patients."

The videos are available on the Better Care Together YouTube channel at or search for the BCTMorecambeBay channel.

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