Delivering patient focused, high quality services that will help improve the health of residents in the county is the main focus of a group of Northumberland GPs.
A plan which sets out NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) vision for the future has been agreed at the joint meeting of the boards of Newcastle and North Tyneside Primary Care Trusts and Northumberland Care Trust.
The Northumberland locality commissioning plan spells out NHS Northumberland CCG’s intentions that it will look to develop further in the future.
NHS Northumberland CCG covers all 46 GP practices across the county who are working together to improve health and healthcare for the population of Northumberland, some 330,000 people. To make sure there is a local focus to how money is spent on commissioning health services the CCG has four localities - North, West, Blyth Valley and Central.
Some of these intentions include focusing on driving up patient care using evidence based practice and integrated approaches as well as meeting the longer-term health needs of local people.
The plan spells out how NHS Northumberland CCG will continue to work to improve the health outcomes of local people. It also explains what the group plans to commission in terms of healthcare and health services in 2012/13 and beyond.
Dr Alistair Blair, chief clinical and accountable officer (designate) of NHS Northumberland CCG, said: “As a clinical commissioning group we are focusing on providing healthcare closer to where people live to avoid unnecessary travelling to hospital and to create more support in the community for vulnerable and elderly people and for those with long term conditions to reduce avoidable hospital admissions.
“We are building on current commissioning strengths and working with healthcare colleagues based in the community, hospitals, the local authority, the community and voluntary sector and local people to ensure services that improve patient care in this challenging economic climate.”
Dr Blair added: “In our three year plan we have focused on a programme of commissioning intentions. Some of these include developing an integrated prevention, identification and treatment drug and alcohol pathway. This includes introducing an early intervention programme for people with alcohol misuse problems and developing a community detox service.
“We are also looking at ways of identifying people at risk from obesity and proactively manage non-surgical weight loss.”
Chris Reed, chief executive of NHS North of Tyne, which works on behalf of Northumberland Care Trust, welcomed the plans to inspire healthcare and health services in the county.
“Having a ‘clear’ plan means that the relevant member practices, stakeholders, patients and public understand what NHS Northumberland CCG’s intentions are,” he said.
“At a recent joint meeting, the boards of Newcastle and North Tyneside Primary Care Trusts and Northumberland Care Trust, were assured that the CCG has the right strategic aims and priorities, together with governance arrangements, to become authorised and improve the health and wellbeing of Northumberland communities.”
NHS Northumberland CCG is working closely with NHS North of Tyne, the current commissioners of NHS services in the county, to start taking on new responsibilities.
As the NHS Bill had gained royal assent it means in the future GP clinical commissioning groups will be responsible for making sure that local health services are available to meet the needs of local people.
To view the plan go to: NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group Plan 2012-15