AN AMBITIOUS five-year strategy outlining a long-term plan for healthcare in north Cumbria has been revealed.

Health bosses from the NHS have published a blueprint on how they hope to deliver services as demands by patients increase across the county.

The document, titled ‘Building Integrated Care – happier healthier communities’, shares a number of priorities that were identified following conversations with the community, health staff and partners.

The five-year plan outlines three key aims for NHS North Cumbria, they are:

  • To improve the health and care outcomes of local communities and support people of all ages to be in control of their own health.
  • To build health and care services around local communities.
  • To provide safe and sustainable high quality services.

Director of strategy for North Cumbria health and care, Ramona Duguid, said: “We know that the NHS and our partners face increasing demand and we must work together to respond to this increase.

"Now, more than ever before, we are collaborating across organisations and developing our future plans together to better respond to the needs of our community.

“When we started talking about how we would improve services for our community and our staff over the next five years, we started by listening to people on the ground about what was important to them and how we could make things work better.

“We’ve changed some of our thinking because of what we have heard, and have described a future where we work together towards a shared vision for our area.”

In order to meet the goals of the plans, a number of key areas have been highlighted to make the improvements.

Those include; integrating how health, care, and other organisations working together, spending resources wisely, and embracing digital technologies and delivering 'digitally enabled care'.

A spokesman from NHS North Cumbria added that the plan aligns with Cumbria County Council’s health and wellbeing strategy and public health strategy.

They also mentioned that it includes ambition physical and mental health services from primary care through to specialist referrals.

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust runs the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven and community services, including district nursing.