Health leaders in north Cumbria answered questions from the public at the Annual Members’ Meeting (AMM) of North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC) and Annual General Meeting (AGM) of North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The virtual event took place via a MS teams online event yesterday (Tuesday 2nd November).

It was an opportunity for members of the public to put their questions to members of the Trust Board of Directors and CCG Governing Body and give their views about the services provided.

More than 60 people attended the meeting which is now available for people to replay at: North Cumbria NHS Annual Meetings.

Leaders of NCIC and the North Cumbria CCG highlighted achievements of both organisations between 1st April 2020 and 31st March 2021, the current financial position, reflections on the Covid-19 pandemic and plans for the future.

NCIC’s Lead Governor Carole Woodman asked questions at the meeting on behalf of the Governors and Members of the Foundation Trust, including a focus on covid and the continuing pressures on staff. The Trust’s Chief Executive Lyn Simpson explained the comprehensive support that NCIC has provided staff during these challenging times.

There were also questions from the West Cumbrians’ Voice for Healthcare. The group praised all the NHS staff, at all levels, in north Cumbria for their outstanding efforts over the past months of the pandemic. They also raised questions about improvements planned for the contact centre and progress with the Hyper Acute Stroke Unit (HASU), and how the functions of the CCG will develop in the transition to the Integrated Care Board (ICB) next April (2022).

The CCG’s Accountable Officer Mark Adams described the design work which is currently underway and reinforced the importance of community engagement which will continue into the new Integrated Care System (ICS).

There were also questions on the day on a range of issues including: long term conditions, continuity of care, patient choice, finances, recruitment, other pressures in health services, the remote challenges of the county, wheelchair resources at the Cumberland Infirmary and pressures of the covid pandemic.

GP Dr Mandy Boardman also updated on the challenges in primary care explaining how recruitment issues are worse in some areas than others, but that work is currently ongoing to develop primary care teams. The work will focus on providing communities with the right clinician and support at the right time, including various roles to support GPs such as paramedics, nurses, pharmacists, health care assistants, social prescribers and a new GP Fellowship programme.

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