Welcome to my second blog post. I hope that you enjoyed reading my first posting and that it gave you more of an insight into aspects of mine and the CCG’s work.

You may by now be aware that the CCG, alongside Blackpool CCG and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, has been chosen to become an Integrated Care Pioneer. The announcement by Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb last week means that the Fylde coast joins a handful of other areas in being seen as a trailblazer for joining health and care in innovative ways.

This achievement is the result of an enormous amount of hard work from all involved in developing new models of care – and will really improve quality and patient experience.

Our plans for the new Extensive Care service involve providing much more personalised and co-ordinated community-based care for older patients with a number of complex long-term conditions and the greatest health needs. The aim is to support much more effective condition management, helping patients to stay well for longer.

Working together with our close partners for the benefit of patients like this is essential.

We have a very good relationship with Blackpool CCG and the hospitals trust – I regularly meet with the chairs of both organisations.  Arrangements have been made for a ‘board to board’ meeting with the Hospitals Trust in February 2015 to review the challenges we face and how we can continue to work effectively together – something I look forward to with anticipation.

We also work with a range of other public, private and voluntary sector organisations involved in commissioning and providing care.

Some of you reading this may have heard about the Healthier Lancashire programme which is currently being developed. I recently had the opportunity to meet with the programme director, Samantha Nichol, to hear more about its intentions. It aims to significantly improve health and social care outcomes for the people of Lancashire and to radically shift the way in which health and social care services are delivered.

We as a CCG have already shared with the programme team our views on what priorities we believe they should tackle and I look forward to hearing more about Healthier Lancashire’s progress as it continues to be developed.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the official Key Ceremony at the new Fylde coast mental health unit – The Harbour. However, my colleagues Dr Ian Stewart and Dr Kath Greenwood represented myself and the CCG. The ceremony marked the handover of the building from the design and construction team to Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust.  The new facility is due to open in spring 2015 with a total of 154 beds. It is part of the trust’s commitment to provide modernised inpatient mental health services.

You can view a video from the Key Ceremony here.