A NEW name for north Cumbria’s soon-to-merge health trusts has been revealed.

The North Cumbria Integrated Care Foundation Trust (NCIC) will be responsible for both hospitals and community health services across the area.

It will be formed when the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust and the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust merge into one organisation later this year.

It comes after they asked for feedback from the public on four possible name options

John Howarth, deputy chief executive of the two trusts, explained that they have added the ‘integrated care’ term to signal a new way of working.

He said: “There are some naming conventions we have to use, including NHS Foundation Trust and stating the place, but integrated care is deliberate.

“We are one of 14 areas that are now national exemplars for integrated care. That is fundamentally based on collaborative partnerships.

“It’s not just about the trust but also a platform for working more closely with the third sector, county and district councils.”

Dr Howarth said until now NHS provider trusts have been competing with one another, which hasn’t worked well in an area like Cumbria.

He said they now want to dismantle that structure and move towards a new way of joint working, with all the organisations in the health and care system teaming up with the wider community to create locally-tailored care. It will also break down barriers between health and social care.

A key part of this will be the eight Integrated Care Communities (ICCs) established across north and west Cumbria.

Dr Howarth said the name is a reflection of this.

“We wanted to signal just how far on we are with this. We wanted to stop looking inwards as an organisation,” he added.

Some in the west of the county had wanted north and west Cumbria in the new name, while others wanted Lake District.

But Dr Howarth said the north Cumbria health and care system is now established nationally, and they wanted to keep it as short as possible. It was also the most popular option.

Asked whether the public would identify with the integrated care, he said: “I think they will over time. What we need to do is explain it a little bit.

“I want to emphasise that it’s not just a name change. It’s trying to set a new approach of collaboration and cooperation.”