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Board of directors agree next steps for future of mental health and learning disability services in Cumbria – Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust press release from Stephen Eames on 06th December 2018:

“The board of directors agreed in principle, that transferring services in north Cumbria to Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW) would provide the best outcome for patients in the long term to improve the quality of services.  The Trust’s increasingly strengthened partnership with NTW and the board of directors future role in providing integrated healthcare across north Cumbria have been important factors in the decision.

This means that in north Cumbria, we will develop a full business case early next year with a view to transferring services to Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust in October 2019.  The full business case will need to address issues including the arrangements for services that are provided in north Cumbria but also serve the county.

In south Cumbria, the board has delayed their judgement on progressing to a full business case pending the outcome of quality assurance work at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust (LCFT).

Our partnership with NTW is already helping us to make improvements to our services across the County with the appointment of Gary O Hare, who is also the Director of Nursing & Chief Operating Officer at NTW on a part time basis, and he has already provided staff to support and strengthen our services for children & young people.

I think that the agreement we have come to in our Board reflects the feedback I received from staff and key partners over the last few months.  I heard very clearly that staff in the North could see the opportunities and had great optimism about how having an outstanding partner such as NTW would be beneficial for services in Cumbria.  I also heard strongly from staff and partners that there was concern about services transferring to LCFT while there are quality assurance processes underway.  I therefore wasn’t able to recommend that it would be in the best interest of our staff and therefore patients.

I do want to be clear however that we are keen to continue to build our partnership working with LCFT.  LCFT are also offering new services in south Cumbria such as the perinatal community services and already provide pathways in south Cumbria for more specialist services such as forensic services.  I want to continue to develop these partnerships to ensure we provide the very best services for our patients in Cumbria.

I understand that this may leave people feeling uncertain, however I was not able to ignore the strength of feeling that I heard.  I will be setting up further opportunities for discussions with partners over the coming weeks.  In the meantime, please contact me if you have any immediate concerns.”


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