Health chiefs in Lancashire and South Cumbria admit local people deserve much better health care and without it lives could be lost.
Blackpool GP Dr Amanda Doyle said they have been told people often feel uninformed and have no involvement in decisions about their health care and find the system is ‘fragmented, uncommunicative and at times uncooperative’.
She noted care staff say they experience barriers or restrictions in their ability to care because of ‘organisational or contractual barriers’.
Dr Doyle, who combines her role as chief clinical officer for the Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) with being the sustainability and transformation programme (STP) lead for Lancashire and South Cumbria, said the problems lead to ‘duplication, waste and gaps in care’ and it is time to act.
In her introduction to the STP report she noted: “For too long in this area we have had some of the poorest health in the country.”
She said the sustainability and transformation plan provides both an overview of the case for change and the state of local health and care services.
The medic highlighted the pride in existing services – saying staff were doing all they could to promote quality care – but said action is needed.
She warned: “Collectively we are keen to retain and improve our local services, but with no change, excellent will become average, and average will become poor.”
This would affect everyone and the result would, she said, be ‘poor health outcomes and avoidable lives lost’.
The new plan aims to ensure residents receive good quality affordable health care now and in the future, creating a better joined up care system.
The report adds: “We want people to know where, when and how they can access the support they need and that this support will be available at the right time and in the right places.”