Shared vision set to transform future of healthcare revealed

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Health and social care organisations across Northumberland have joined forces to agree on a collective vision for continuing to improve the quality of services for patients in the county.

Last year, NHS England named Northumberland as one of only eight pilot areas across the country chosen to take a lead on transforming care for patients as part of an £8.3m national vision to transform healthcare.

A new website outlining the vision for Northumberland has been launched, and a month-long programme of public engagement activities is underway.

Patients are being asked to share their experiences and give their views by filling in an online survey at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NorthumberlandVanguard

The vision being outlined for the county aims to provide better support for people to live healthily and stay well, offer better access to advice to help people use services appropriately, make it easier to get primary care and GP appointments and improve integration of mental health services.

It also seeks to offer more personalised and co-ordinated care for those with long-term conditions or complex needs, ensure professionals in health and social care work in a joined-up way and set up shared health record so patients do not have to repeat their stories.

Street engagement teams will be visiting locations across Northumberland to explains the vision for health and care services and encourage people to complete an online questionnaire.

They will be in Bedlington today, Ponteland tomorrow, Prudhoe and Morpeth on Saturday, Amble on Sunday, Wooler on Monday, Seaton Delaval on Tuesday, Cramlington and Berwick on Wednesday, Rothbury a week tomorrow and Blyth on Saturday, February 13.

Further visits to Bamburgh, Belford, Ashington, Morpeth, Blyth, Choppington, Guide Post, Alnwick and Hexham will follow.

David Evans, chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Patients, the public and our staff consistently tell us where we can do better to improve access to services and experiences of care, and this is a truly exciting time for Northumberland as we work with all partners to build on successes so far.

“For too long, services have been organised for the convenience and benefit of the system rather than the benefit of patient care, and we want to shift this focus and truly transform services by better joining up and co-ordinating care.

“All health and social care organisations are fully committed to this vision and are working in a truly cohesive way to make it a reality for patients.”

Dr Alistair Blair, chief clinical officer at NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “We are already ahead of many other parts of the NHS in terms of the high-quality patient care we deliver, but we recognise that there is still much more we can do to improve even further.

“Improving access to primary-care services and support for those with complex medical needs in their own communities is an absolute priority.

“Involving local people is at the very heart of our vision and ambition for Northumberland, and I would encourage everyone to get involved and tell us about their experiences and what they would like to see improved by completing our online survey over the coming weeks.”

For more information, visit www.northumberland.nhs.uk.