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Using your Initiative
I attended a meeting this week to discuss a local plan and the implementation of a care initiative designed to review current services which do not adequately meet the needs of the local population, mainly due to growing demands and financial pressures. Lincolnshire Health and Care (LHAC) was formed last year from a group of organisations including Lincolnshire County Council, United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust and Lincolnshire’s four health Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). These organisations came together to look at designing a new model for health and care in Lincolnshire which would enable people to access the right services at the right time, now and in the future.
A single service
There are always concerns about the quality of care that patients receive, as well as funding issues when patients have lengthy hospitals stays but there is a real issue recruiting specialised professionals into health and social care , particularly in Lincolnshire. Individuals very often get divided care and LHAC is an opportunity to bring together a single service for people to receive proper integrated care.
New model of care
There needs to be more coordinated care for patients, and this new model of care encourages ‘neighbourhood’ teams to work together to provide joined up services seven days a week. The aim is also to reduce the pressure on emergency units at hospitals, which will be able to provide specialist and emergency (time-critical) services like major trauma or cardiac treatment.
One of the key messages that came across from the meeting about LHACs aims, is to change the culture in which healthcare providers work. At the moment it is fragmented, doesn’t meet the needs of patients and isn’t financially sustainable. Recruitment and retention of highly trained and skilled clinician is a major issue. A stocktake of current skills and capabilities is needed and staff must be encouraged to work together, build leadership within their organisations and create as much attraction as possible for people to come and work for us.
These changes are a positive step in the right direction for individuals to access good quality and safe healthcare services. It aims to benefit families, carers, older people, people with complex health and care needs, patients with planned operations, and also for the providers of services.
As this initiative develops I will continue to provide updates on the how the programme is developing, and how the Neighbourhood Teams are moving forward to review, improve and change the way in which services provide good patient care.