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Friday, 01 August 2014

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Community partnership with NHS to develop Millom model of healthcare

A UNIQUE equal partnership between a community group in Millom and the NHS will develop the healthcare provision for the town.

The first meeting of the Millom Health Action Group took place last week chaired by Jamie Reed MP and was attended by representatives from Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, North West Ambulance Service, Waterloo GP Practice, Millom Health Action Group, South Copeland Disability Group and Millom Town Council.

At the meeting it was confirmed that:

- Millom hospital is open and the new medical arrangements are working well. These arrangements include bringing two nurse practitioners from Barrow to work in the hospital to cover four days. A GP from Barrow also supports the hospital and the GP Practice two days a week.

- The group agreed the focus should now be on sustaining high quality services for Millom for the future and in particular supporting the general practice.

- Cumbria Partnership outlined its efforts to unlock the land surrounding the hospital that would free up space for the site to be redeveloped.

- Cumbria Partnership confirmed that it has made an offer to purchase St Georges Hall from the Diocese. The offer has been accepted and the purchasing process has begun. In addition, the County Council has agreed to transfer the disused Lapstone bed sits for the purposes of expanding the community hospital facilities, (this does not affect the adjoining Lapstone House residential care home).

- A project group which includes Waterloo GP practice, Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust and University Hospitals Morecombe Bay Trust has now been established in order to develop better services for Millom. Millom Health Action Group will join this group as an equal partner. The project group will develop a detailed plan over the next six weeks covering a wide range of issues.

Dr John Howarth, Director of Service Improvement at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has been leading the early work to improve the facilities at Millom. He said, “The fact that we have now unlocked the land surrounding the hospital for potential future redevelopment is fantastic news. It opens up all sorts of possibilities for extending and redeveloping the site to allow more space to accommodate the practice and ultimately to deliver more of healthcare needs for Millom in Millom. What we need to do now is try and find innovative ways to redevelop the site within the limited funds that are available. I’m very confident that by working together we can deliver an effective, modern health care facility for the community.

What is particularly special about this project is that we are working hand in hand with the community who are already bringing to the table some innovative ideas that we could not have come up with on our own. I’m very excited to see how the Millom model develops.”

Cllr Beth Furneaux, Cumbria County Council's member for Health and Care Services, said: "This is excellent news for the people of Millom. The transfer of this site will secure more room for community hospital facilities while also removing the long-empty derelict block of bed-sits that is attached to Lapstone House Residential Home.

“The change of ownership will have no impact on the future of Cumbria Care's Lapstone House, which will continue to provide residential care for people in the community."

Ian Reed, spokesperson for the group said, “'The Millom Health Action Group is delighted to be working alongside the GP practice, Cumbria Partnership Foundation and the University Hospitals Morecambe Bay Trust as an equal partner to deliver the solutions for Healthcare provision for the people of Millom. The response to Milloms' situation in recent weeks has been fantastic and we are looking forward to working with the Project Team to make the next phase of Healthcare provision and improvements to the Hospital a reality”

Following concerns from the Millom Parents and Carers Disability Group about children’s services in Millom, senior managers from Cumbria Partnership Trust Children’s services have arranged to meet with the group. They will feedback directly to the Millom Health Action Group.

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