Northumberland's healthcare commissioners outline plan for coming year

If Northumberland was a village of 100 residents, there would be 20 people with a long-term illness, seven with diabetes, five with heart disease and four with cancer.

Monday, 1st April 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Monday, 1st April 2019, 11:49 am
The CCG is responsible for commissioning healthcare services in Northumberland.

Of this population of 100, 18 would be monthly binge drinkers, 15 would be smokers, 13 would be obese adults and 17 would be living in the most deprived quintile.

This interesting analogy provided an overview of the county’s health needs and issues as NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) operational plan for 2019-20 was outlined at the meeting of its governing body last Wednesday (March 27).

The figures above are also placed into the context of the large gap between the healthy life expectancy in the county’s most deprived and least deprived communities as well as Northumberland’s rurality.

Just under 97 per cent of the county’s geography is classified as rural and nearly half of the population live in rural areas, while the other 50 per cent of people live in three per cent of the geography in the south-east corner.

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The lofty ambition for Northumberland’s system is to deliver the highest quality of care and performance in the country, working across the different organisations and building on everything from the county’s joint health and wellbeing strategy to the new national Long-Term Plan for the NHS.

Having put all this into the pot, the CCG, which is responsible for commissioning the county’s healthcare, has 13 priorities in its operational plan for the coming year.

These are: Scaling up prevention and addressing health inequalities; long-term conditions; cancer; children and young people; mental health; learning disabilities and autism; primary care, ie, GPs; community integration, ie, out-of-hospital care; emergency care; planned care; prescribing; workforce; and data and technology.

Other key factors referred to in the document are quality, performance and finance.

Dr Ben Frankel, a GP on the governing body, asked about social care, saying that even if Northumberland had the best NHS system, it doesn’t matter if the social-care side isn’t working.

Siobhan Brown, the CCG’s chief operating officer, explained that all of the operational plans from NHS trusts and CCGs will feed into the five-year plan for the wider region’s Integrated Care System, which is to be submitted in the autumn, and that this covers both health and social care.

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service