New phase of Lincolnshire health and care service unveiled


The team responsible for creating a new model of health and care services across the county has unveiled plans for a new phase of development for the programme.

A new series of pilots and trials could be launched as part of a new evidence gathering phase of the Lincolnshire Health and Care programme later this year.

The LHAC board, made up of senior people from all 11 major providers and commissioners of health and care in the county, revealed a blueprint for changes to services late last year.

Proposals included the creation of neighbourhood teams providing joined up services at a community level, more operations delivered closer to patients’ homes and a network of local urgent care centres to deal with minor injuries.

Since then the team working on the project have been in detailed discussions and consultation with more than 5,000 patients, residents, clinicians and care staff.

A question that emerged from those conversations was the need for evidence to demonstrate that LHAC’s proposals would provide excellent quality and properly integrated services.

The proposals have been built using experiences and advice from senior front-line health and care professionals locally and from across the world.

No other counties have yet trialled such a root and branch reorganisation of services. As a result LHAC’s programme team has unveiled plans to include an extra phase of the programme.

This will enable the project team to gauge the success and overcome hurdles before any full-scale roll-out.

The LHAC board will discuss the new phase at the next meeting on August 6. The introduction of a new phase of the programme will mean the formal public consultation, initially pencilled in for September, taking place next year.

LHAC board chairman Dr Tony Hill said: “We are totally confident that these proposals will provide modern, good quality, sustainable services for the next generation of county residents.

“But one of the messages that have come through the extensive consultations that have already taken place is that people fully support the ideas and the ethos behind them but just want to be assured that there is evidence they will work.

“We understand that what we are proposing is a radical approach but we also realise that innovation is needed. We simply cannot continue to run the services we have in the way we do. It is not right for patients and it is not sustainable.

“The people of Lincolnshire, understandably, want to see some evidence that these proposals can work so we have decided to respond positively to that.

“However it is important to understand that no full scale changes of the health and care system will be permanently put in place until the whole of Lincolnshire has been given the opportunity to have their say and we will continue our conversations with people across the county in the interim.”

LHAC’s proposal to delay full public consultation until later next year has been backed by NHS officials, who have also asked for more detailed information about health and care spending plans across the county.

Four neighbourhood teams – groups of health and care “champions”, dedicated to creating individual plans for hundreds of patients’ – are already being set up in Skegness, Stamford, Lincoln City South and Sleaford.

The teams, made up of professionals from a wide range of services from social care and community nurses to GPs and therapists, will ensure the most at risk patients are given a personal care plan and their own care co-ordinator so they get the services they need when they need them.