Ambitious NHS plans to be heard in Belford

A public engagement session is being held at Bell View in Belford.
A public engagement session is being held at Bell View in Belford.

Residents are being invited to attend an event to explain the ambitious vision for health and care services across Northumberland.

The engagement sessions, which are being supported by Healthwatch Northumberland, will give the public the opportunity to find out more about the new integrated accountable care organisation (ACO) for Northumberland.

The nearest event takes place at Bell View Resource Centre in Belford, on Friday, January 13, from 10am to noon.

Cynthia Atkin, chair of Healthwatch Northumberland, said: “It is important that people understand more about the accountable care organisation for Northumberland and how this fits with the draft sustainability and transformation plan.

“We very much welcome these engagement events and the opportunity for Healthwatch to be involved. The work which has been taking place as part of the vanguard programme has been fantastic and it is making sure that, as a county, our health and care services are once again at the forefront.”

The ACO for Northumberland is set to become operational from April and will be the first of its kind in the whole NHS.

It brings together both providers and commissioners of local NHS services as well as Northumberland County Council, helping to maximise the opportunities for an integrated approach across NHS services, social care and public health.

The aim is to support people to stay healthy and well, break down organisational silos and make sure patient and carer experiences are as seamless as possible.

There will also be a chance to find out how this fits with the draft sustainability and transformation plan (STP) for Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, and North Durham.

The STP commends the development of the Northumberland vanguard work and ACO model as ‘hugely important – not only for the local area, but for other NHS colleagues looking at similar models across the country’.

The work is geared to meeting challenges outlined in the NHS Five Year Forward View (5YFV).

To read more about the draft STP for Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, and North Durham and give your thoughts by Friday, January 20, visit www.northumberlandccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/stp/