News from Cumbria Action for Health

The latest news from Jozi Brown, Senior Engagement Officer at Cumbria CVS

Cumbria Mental Health (Third Sector) Provider Forum meeting dates
The next two meetings dates are:
Wednesday 14 January 2015, 10 – 12 noon at Penrith Methodist Church
Wednesday 18 March 2015, 10 – 12 noon at Penrith Methodist Church

Please let me know if you’d like to attend the meetings, or if you’d like further information via email

Odyssey Health Eating Workshops – “Take Care and Cook”
Odyssey Foundation Cumbria are now providing healthy eating workshops in Carlisle for anyone affected by cancer, including family, carers or friends. A balanced diet can help to maintain a healthy body weight, which can itself reduce the risk of many cancers. Experts think that nearly one in ten UK cancer cases are linked to less healthy diets.

Training for frontline workers in energy advice
As part of the Big Energy Saving Network, Cumbria Action for Sustainability are hosting several events in the new year for Frontline Workers. The 1½ hour events will cover the available tariff and payment options available, and how to change the payment method or switch tariff. It will also outline other help available including Warm Home Discount, Energy Company Obligation and the Priority Service Register. These events are aimed at those who have direct contact with clients, for instance housing officers, healthcare professionals, social workers or those giving advice.

The events will be held across the county at venues in Penrith, Kendal, Workington and Carlisle. For a full list of the events click on the CAfS website The events are free of charge but spaces are limited and so must be booked in advance. Training is provided by CAfS as part of the Big Energy Saving Network, funded by The Department of Energy and Climate Change.

New GP for Millom is latest boost for town’s healthcare provision
A new GP is joining the medical practice in Millom this month after responding to a plea from the local community to come and work in the town.
Dr Rachael Bartrum is originally from Cumbria and was really impressed with the film and the sense of community within the town. Dr Bartrum said, “I heard about the developments happening in Millom through a friend of a friend, saw the report on television and then looked at the film online. I’m looking forward to joining the team.”
The recruitment film starts with a short role play from 12 primary school children from St James School in Millom. The community decided to take action when they realised that the shortage of doctors was having an impact on the health services being delivered to a beautiful but isolated area of the County. The film can be viewed using this link and has had over 5000 views since it was launched in October

Alison Redshaw, Practice Manager at Waterloo House Surgery said, “We have been advertising for a GP for the practice for over a year through traditional routes without any success. Through the partnership working we have established, the community came to understand that we really needed more GPs to help improve the healthcare provision for the town. They have been really creative pulling out all the stops to get the message heard that Millom needs a GP, and we are delighted that Dr Bartrum will be with us soon.”

The new GP is one of a long line of developments that is already improving the healthcare provision, providing better access to health care & increasing services within the town.
Dr Charlotte Hattersley, one of GPs working with the Surgery added, “Patients can now speak directly to a GP over the phone if they wish, and we have seen telephone consultations triple from around 600 to 2,000 per month. This has improved emergency care for all patients as it has increased the availability of GPs for patients who do need to see them face to face at the surgery, and meant that it is far easier to speak to a GP.”

“The surgery has employed an additional phlebotomist to deal with blood samples making more appointments available and speeding up the process. Dr Jebur, who had been seconded by NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, has now been employed by the practice to continue working with patients in the residential homes, in order to make sure these patients get as good care as if they were able to come to the practice. Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust which runs Millom Hospital has employed a Nurse practitioner based full time at the Community Hospital, and improved the x-ray equipment available on site.

Dr John Howarth, Director of Service Improvement at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said, “It’s quite remarkable to see what can be achieved when all partners in the NHS, social care and community work together collaboratively. It was only 6 months ago that the community were marching through the streets protesting about their health service and in a short space of time we have come together to secure real improvements with many more still to come. The community should be commended on their professional approach and commitment to working with us to understand the problems and really help us provide better care with this fantastic film being a prime example.”

Dr Ian Reed from Millom Health Action Group said, “The Millom Health Action Group are extremely pleased to welcome Dr Bartrum to our community. There are some fantastic developments going ahead for healthcare in Millom and GP numbers are at the heart of delivering the service Millom people deserve. We believe it sets an excellent example, especially for the children of St James’, where people can come together and make a difference in their community. We would like to thank everyone involved but particularly the children, without whose contribution, the video would not have had the impact it did. It is amazing what people can do when they come together and try to change things for the better.”
Dr Paul Grout, Clinical Director for acute medicine at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust said: “I’m delighted that Dr Bartrum is joining us and look forward to welcoming her to our team of health professionals.”

The GP practice is still looking for more GP hours to provide routine general practice and the additional services that the exciting developments have brought to health care in Millom.

Mental Capacity Act: Level 1 on Wednesday 11 February 2015
Time: 10:00 am – 12:30 pm, Where: Penrith Rugby Club, Penrith.
The Mental Capacity Act provides a framework to empower and protect people who may lack capacity to make some decisions for themselves.
This training will:

• List and understand the basic principles of the Act and why we need them
• Identify how people make decisions and the decisions that they need to make
• Demonstrate knowledge of how to assess/judge if someone has the capacity to make a particular decision
• Show that they understand how to make a ‘best interests’ decision for someone who lacks capacity
• Apply the above to their place of work

Free for Cumbria CVS members, £10 for non Cumbria CVS members (NB cancellation policy applies).
Further information at

Local CVS e-bulletins (Barrow and South Lakeland)
Cumbria CVS currently coordinates community bulletins in Barrow and South Lakeland. These bulletins are a great way of finding out whats happening in those areas and also as a tool for you to promote the work you’re doing. We also use these e-bulletins as a way for third sector representatives on the local Health and Wellbeing Forums in these two area to engage with local third sector organisations. Michael Cassells is the third sector representative in Barrow in Furness, Angela White is the third sector representative in South Lakeland.
To include your news in the next issue, or to get the bulletins directly to your inbox, contact Julie Sharkey on

Barrow Community News
South Lakeland Community News

Community Christmas believes that no elderly person in the UK should be alone on Christmas Day unless they want to be
Communities are encouraged to provide companionship to older people on Christmas Day by running a community Christmas Lunch event, joining up with others at a local pub or restaurant, popping round for tea and cake, perhaps organizing a film viewing or anything else that can be enjoyed by all those that take part. This should be a chance to meet up with old friends and make new friends creating bonds in the community that last well beyond the single day. You can add your organisations activities online at
Web link

Better Care Fund: how it will work in 2015 to 2016
This (attached) document sets out the agreed way in which the Better Care Fund will be implemented in 2015 to 2016. It should be read alongside the NHS Mandate and covers the legal and financial basis of the fund; conditions of access to the fund; the assurance and approval process; and payment for performance metrics.
Web link

I’m still me: a narrative for coordinated support for older people
This document, produced in collaboration with UCL Partners and Age UK, sets out how integrated care and support looks and feels to older people and is written from their point of view. It outlines five themes that older people say are key to coordinated support: independence, community interactions, decision making, care and support and terminology.

Web link

Cumbrian team wins top award for dermatology services
Cumbria Medical Services NHS has won ‘Clinical Team of the Year for Dermatology’ at the prestigious National General Practice Awards held in London on Thursday 20 November.
The awards aim to highlight the excellent and innovative work that is carried out by health care professionals to improve patient care across the UK.
The team were also finalists in the ‘Practice Manager of the Year’ and the ‘Innovators of the Year’ categories, out of hundreds of entries.

Manager Pauline Stuart said she was honoured and thrilled to receive the award which was recognition for the hard work and dedication of all the team members. Dr Fayyaz Chaudhri from Cockermouth and Dr Martin White from Penrith set up Cumbria Medical Services NHS in July 2013 after leaving their GP practices to devote more time to developing community dermatology and minor surgery services. Their aim was to provide specialist services in a community setting without the need to travel long distances for care. A full range of services are available including hernia repair, carpal tunnel release, vasectomies and skin cancer surgery all under local anaesthetic. Waiting times are low with most patients being seen within four to six weeks and much sooner if necessary. Over the past year the service has grown considerably, employing five consultants and three GP specialists. Clinics take place at eight venues across Cumbria utilising the excellent facilities of the community hospitals and GP surgeries.

Dr Chaudri, Cumbria Medical Services NHS, said: “We are very pleased to have received this award which recognises the hard work of the whole team. A lot of work and co-ordination has gone into delivering this service at so many sites and patient feedback has been very encouraging. We hope to continue to develop services closer to home and wish to thank the various practices and community hospitals for accommodating us.”

George Moncrieff, the Chair of the Dermatology Council for England, headed the judging panel and commented on the passion and commitment shown to providing an excellent service for patients and was very impressed with the accolades in the patient feedback. NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) commission the service through St Pauls Medical Centre in Carlisle and it echoes the changes heralded in the NHS Five Year Forward Plan for more care to be provided in the community and the breaking down of the artificial boundaries between hospitals and primary care.
Medical Director for NHS Cumbria CCG, David Rogers said: “I am really pleased to see such an innovative local service recognised in a positive way and at a national level. This award is really important for the community as it confirms the service is hugely successful with great benefits for patients not having too travel far to receive treatment. Well done to everyone involved for creating a valuable dermatology service for the people of Cumbria and for winning such well recognised award.”

New lead GP for Copeland
Dr Juliet Rhodes is the new lead GP for NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group’s Copeland Locality. Dr Rhodes has been a Cumbrian GP for almost 20 years and is a partner at Fellview Healthcare Ltd which has surgeries at Whitehaven, Cleator Moor, Egremont and Frizington. As Copeland’s lead GP she is responsible for working with all nine local GP practices to ensure patients receive the best possible services. A key project is the development of a ‘primary care community’ which means much closer working across all parts of the NHS and with other partners such as councils and the community and voluntary sector. This is an important part of the five year plan currently being developed for local health and care services.

Dr Rhodes said: “We really want to provide much better local services for our patients. A challenge for all of us is that we have more older people who have some very complex health conditions. We want to make sure that when they become poorly the right support is there for them locally so that they don’t have to go into hospital unless this is the best place for them.
“Often when GPs are called out to see older people they don’t need high tech health care but the right support to help them manage their illness and to stay independent in their own homes. By having a much more joined up approach across the NHS and with our other partners we will be able to do this.”

As part of this approach there are nine care coordinators who are based in GP practices and are working as part of primary care teams. They have seen around 700 patients since April to make sure that older local people get the support they need. More than £200,000 has now been made available to extend this scheme.

Dr Rhodes continued: “So far the care coordinators have visited about 700 patients aged over 75 but we are now extending the scheme to include people over 65. If a GP thinks a patient needs a little more support he or she can now ask if the patient would like to see a care coordinator. The care coordinator then visits the patient, does an assessment to understand their needs and this could vary from arranging for someone to walk the dog to access to district nursing services or benefits advice.”

Another new scheme, which is happening in partnership with Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, involves buying four beds in Powbeck, residential care home in Mirehouse. These can be used when frail older people become unwell and need a little more support than they could receive in their own homes so that they don’t have to go into hospital. They can also be used when a frail older people have been in hospital but need a little more support before they can go back to their own homes.

Dr Rhodes added: “These are the kind of services that will help us to prevent crises with older people by being much more proactive about their care needs and hopefully prevent some from becoming so poorly that they need to go into hospital.”

Other plans are also in the pipeline and will be announced in the coming weeks and months. In her earlier medical career Dr Rhodes worked in Nottinghamshire. On coming to Cumbria she worked for a few years as a GP in Cockermouth before becoming a GP in Copeland, where she has now been for 16 years. At Fellview Healthcare over the past year has taken a lead in looking at ways of managing the rising demand for GP services. She has also played a key role in the development of a patient participation group which means that patients can have more say in how services are shaped and delivered at the practice. Dr Rhodes lives in St Bees and has twin teenage daughters. Her husband works in the nuclear industry.

NHS England launches initiative to empower patients and communities to take control of their health
NHS England has launched the Realising the Value Programme, a new initiative which will empower people and communities to take more control of their health.
Through this initiative, NHS England will award a grant of up to £500,000 to a charity or not for profit organisation (or consortium) to identify evidence-based approaches to self-care. This programme will also support the commissioning and spread of such approaches, across local communities, and in the NHS, to empower people to take an active role in their health and care.

The Realising the value programme builds on the NHS Five Year Forward View, published in October, which sets out how the health service needs to change and argues for a more engaged relationship with patients, carers and citizens. It makes a specific commitment to do more to support people with long term conditions to manage their own health and care.
The Forward View signals the need to work with voluntary sector partners to create significant investment in evidence-based approaches such as group based education for people with specific conditions and self-management courses, as well as encouraging peer-to-peer support communities to emerge.

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said: “We must fully harness the renewable energy represented by patients and communities. This programme and others like it will help to shift power to patients and citizens, strengthen communities, improve health and wellbeing, and – as a by-product – help moderate rising demand on the NHS. Our conviction is that these sorts of initiatives are precisely the sort of ‘slow burn, high impact’ actions that are now essential.”

Giles Wilmore, Director for Patient and Public Voice and Information at NHS England, said: “Building on the role and resources of people has long been an aspiration of the NHS, but real change has been hard to achieve. NHS England is making this grant available to enable services to build on the resources of the local community, and empower patients to take control of their own health and care”
Jonathan Marron, Director of Strategy at PHE said: “Building on the role and resources of individuals, and supporting them to manage their health and have a greater say in their care is a joint aim of both public health and NHS care. PHE will work with NHS England to shape this new programme to ‘realise the value’ of patients and communities, with a keen focus on delivering tools which enable real change on the ground”.

Interested organisations have until 9 January 2015 to apply for money from the Realising the Value programme.
View full details of the ‘Realising the Value: a new relationship with patients and communities programme’ online at

Jozi Brown
Senior Engagement Officer
Cumbria CVS