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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Trust which runs Furness General Hospital in Barrow told to add detail to its action plan

HEALTH chiefs have asked hospital bosses to give them more information about their vision for the future, including service reforms, workforce changes and financial plans.

The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust is now working towards submitting a detailed two-year action plan by the end of next month or early November.

The organisation, which runs Furness General Hospital, is one of several involved in the Better Care Together strategy, aimed at shaping the way the county’s health system works in the years to come.

Doctors from Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, which is leading the programme, last month revealed that the current strategy presents a “vision” for the future. Lead GP for Furness, Geoff Jolliffe, said detailed plans and specific proposed changes would not be laid out for around a year.

But after submitting plans to NHS England and regulator, Monitor, those working on the programme received initial feedback on the strategy in July.

Aaron Cummins is director of finance at the Morecambe Bay hospital trust.

He explained that both bodies had recognised the progress made by the programme, including the strength of the relationships between the various organisations working together on it.

But, he added: “They asked us to put a bit more detail into the two-year operational plan and also to improve some of the narrative, particularly for patient changes and stakeholders across the health economy.”

Areas where NHS England and Monitor asked for further development included more specific service change proposals, the future roles of the trust’s three hospitals and potential workforce changes.

UHMBT bosses are now developing a detailed implementation strategy.

Mr Cummins said: “By the end of October, we should have laid down a plan for the next two years.”

Work began on planning the two-year programme on August 18, including assessing the scope of the changes needed to services and developing the engagement of medical staff in the planning process.

The programme team is also in the process of putting together a future engagement programme in order to involve the public and other stakeholders in the design of future services.

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