News from Cumbria Action for Health

News from Jozi Brown, Senior Engagement Officer, Cumbria CVS

Draft Local Flood Risk Management Strategy public consultation
You may have already received details of this consultation which runs to 23 December 2014 from Cumbria County Council. This authority is taking a lead in Cumbria on local flood risk management and this strategy identifies how it will be done. The Local Flood Risk Management team at the County Council are particularly interested in how the Strategy could have impacts on vulnerable groups (disabled, elderly, rurally isolated – there could be more) and the views of Third Sector organisations. They require a focus on particular needs of groups using this information to inform the development of an Equality Impact Assessment. You/your organisation is encouraged to participate in this consultation. Please provide your response via the website or to Anthony Lane, Local Flood Risk Manager at the County Council on 01228 221331 or e-mail:

A series of public meetings and drop-in events have been arranged across Cumbria over the next 2 weeks as follows: –

Carlisle: Public Meeting: 16 December, 6pm at Richard Rose Central Academy.
Drop in session – 18 December from 12-4pm at Carlisle Library
Eden: Public Meeting: 8 December, 6pm at Appleby Town Hall.
Drop in session – 9 December from 4-7pm at Penrith Library
Barrow: Public Meeting: 8 December, 6pm at Dalton Drill Hall
South Lakeland: Public Meeting: 11 December, 6pm at Kendal Fire Station Community Room
Allerdale: Public Meeting: 9 December, 7pm at Cockermouth Town Hall
Copeland: Public Meeting: 15 December, 7pm at Orgill Primary School, Egremont

Full details of the consultation can be found at

The Local Flood Risk Management team at the County Council are particularly interested in how the Strategy could have impacts on vulnerable groups (disabled, elderly, rurally isolated – there could be more) and the views of Third Sector organisations. They require a focus on particular needs of groups using this information to inform the development of an Equality Impact Assessment. You/your organisation is encouraged to participate in this consultation. Please provide your response via the website or to Anthony Lane, Local Flood Risk Manager at the County Council on 01228 221331 or e-mail:

Expressions of interest for the post of Vice Chair with the Cumbria Mental Health Partnership Group
We would like to request expressions of interest to the role of Vice Chair of the Cumbria Mental Health Partnership Group.
An exciting opportunity has arisen to influence and shape the design of mental health services in Cumbria over the next five years as Vice Chair of the newly established Cumbria multi agency mental health partnership group. The Group held its first meeting on 4 November 2104 and is due to meet again on 6 January 2015. The Vice Chair will have a two year tenure with the full support of all members of the group with the expectation that the successful individual will step into the Chair after twelve months.

Post requirements: We are interested in hearing from you if you have had lived experience of mental health services or of caring for somebody who has had lived experience of mental health services.
Although the successful individual will receive full support from all members of the Mental Health Partnership Group we are seeking someone with experience of working in multiagency environment and has the ability and passion to help us improve and redesign out mental health services over the next five years.

Time commitment: The group will meet every two months with the opportunity to hold extraordinary meetings (as and when required).
As Vice Chair of the group you will be required to attend these two meetings and additional sessions may be held when needed.

Remuneration: The post is voluntary, however travel expenses will be reimbursed.

Purpose of the Cumbria Mental Health Partnership Group
The Mental Health Partnership Group (MHPG) will:

  • Oversee the delivery of the Cumbria Mental Health Strategy and ensure all providers deliver high quality, person centred therapeutic services
  • Ensure that the people of Cumbria have the right services and support available for people with mental health problems, their families and carers
  • Focus on adults (over 18 years of age) with mental health issues and ensure that effective and robust links are made with Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

The Mental Health Partnership Group (MHPG) will:

  • Oversee the development, implementation and continuous review of the Cumbria Mental Health Strategy
  • Ensure national policies and best practices are delivered across all providers of mental health services
  • Identify the priorities for improvement and have oversight of the improvement programme
  • Commission task and finish groups to undertake agreed pieces of work aligned to the strategy
  • Ensure six monthly reports are available to all members to report on progress and highlight any areas of concer
  • Provide opportunities for users, carers and families to have a voice and be listened to
  • Ensure cooperation between all agencies is at the heart of delivery

If you would like to discuss this exciting opportunity further then please contact either :
Dr David Rogers, Chair of the Mental Health Partnership Group (MHPG) and Medical Director, NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) or
Laura Carr, Member of the Mental Health Partnership Group (MHPG) and Clinical Director (Mental Health and learning Disability) and Lead Nurse, NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
Telephone 01768 245486

Training: Dementia and the Arts
Brought to you by Prism Arts & Theatre by the Lake, in collaboration with Skimstone Arts, this half day training opportunity is aimed at workers in the care sector with a specific interest in dementia.
Held at Theatre by the Lake, on Wednesday 4 March 2015 from 1pm – 4.15pm, delegates will have the opportunity to attend two presentations from arts specialists as well as enjoy a performance of Jack & Jill and the Red Postbox, a sensitive, humorous and challenging piece of theatre which encourages us to think about how we live and work alongside those in our communities who have a diagnosis of dementia. Using nursery rhymes, live and recorded sound/music and images, the performance invites us to follow the journeys of Jack and Jill and those who live among them, as they encounter considerable changes in their everyday life events. After the performance there will be the opportunity to join in a Q&A session with Skimstone Arts.
The training day is suitable for people with all levels of dementia awareness. We hope that we will stimulate discussion and provide an opportunity for delegates to share knowledge and experiences, learn new approaches and explore best practice. The training package costs only £15 per person and includes refreshments. An optional lunch package is available upon request.
Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
To book, please call Theatre by the Lake Box Office on 017687 74411 quoting ‘Dementia & the Arts Event’.

Get Online at Barrow Library
There are still a large proportion of people not able to access the Internet and these people are missing out on many of the services and offers that the online world has to offer.

Barrow Library is expanding their provision to provide FREE Internet training and assistance at Barrow Library to help people get online with our help at Barrow Library. They want to reach as many individuals as possible to take advantage of the existing public computer facilities that they offer at every library in the Barrow area. These computers are currently being set up to provide free access to Universal Credit for applicants. All staff, and at certain times, a team of volunteers are on hand to provide friendly assistance to those who are not very familiar with the use of computers.

Their ‘Learn My Way’ system shows people in an easy informal way about skills to equip them to make the best use of the internet from basic keyboard skills to safe surfing on the internet, job searching, applying for housing, shopping online, searching on for car tax renewal etc., and accessing health information on the NHS choices website. They are currently promoting their provision out in the community in a range of locations, e.g. charitable or local groups, sheltered housing organizations to inform people who may not have heard of these opportunities already.

If you would like to invite one of their team to visit your organization to talk more about this and demonstrate ‘Learn My Way’ or introduce it to client groups, please contact of the the people listed below:

Clare Bell Telephone 01229 407480
Amanda Hunter Telephone 01229 407370
Hayley Gibbs Telephone 01229 407370

Stakeholder Consultation – Sexual and Reproductive Health in Cumbria County Council
The provision of sexual and reproductive health services in Cumbria is currently being reviewed – in particular to identify the best ways to improve access to services like testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections contraception.

Stakeholders are invited to provide feedback for this review by completing this survey:

The survey will close at 12 noon on 9 January 2015, and a summary of the findings will be included in Cumbria County Council’s sexual health needs review, the results of which will inform future commissioning and development of local services.

If you would like to discuss specific issues or concerns about sexual and reproductive health in Cumbria, you can contact the lead officer for the review, Cathryn Beckett-Hill at

We would be grateful if this message could be passed on to the appropriate person in your organisation as this is important for the future development of sexual health services in Cumbria.

Healthwatch Drop-In
‘Healthwatch is the consumer champion for health and social care in England. Their sole purpose is to understand the needs, experiences and concerns of people who use health and social care services and to ensure their voices are heard and responded to. They aim to give people a powerful voice locally and nationally. Come and talk to Sue Hannah, from Healthwatch, who will be at the monthly drop-in at Whitehaven library on Thursday 11 December between 11am – 12:30pm and Workington Library between 2- 4pm. The drop in is for you to share your concerns or tell them about areas of good practice relating to Health and Social Care services that you access across Cumbria.

Living Well after Cancer Treatment
Four ‘Living Well after Cancer Treatment’ pilot events are being held by a partnership of staff from three major healthcare providers to support people post-cancer treatment across Cumbria.
Lucy Eastlake, Macmillan Assistant Psychologist for Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said “These events are important because patients tell us that finding a ‘new normal’ and getting their life ‘back on track’ after cancer treatment has ended can be difficult. Patients can often find the transition from an intense period of treatment which includes regular contact with healthcare professionals to post-treatment, where there is typically more limited contact with healthcare services, difficult. These events aim to bridge the gap between treatment finishing and getting ‘back to normal’ after cancer.”

The events are being hosted by the Physical Health & Rehabilitation Psychology service of Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust alongside Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialists from North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust. The events are also supported by Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Elaine Jones, clinical nurse specialist in upper GI for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, said “For many patients the end of cancer treatment is the beginning of new challenges and re-adjustments. It can feel overwhelming. As a clinical nurse specialist, I am delighted to have an opportunity to take part in these events which aim to tailor help and advice at this time. We really do welcome input from our patients to help us make these events easy to access and welcoming. The aim is to empower people with the skills they need to adapt and move forward.”

Each event will start with time for patients, alongside their family and friends, to think about what individual challenges they may be facing, both physically and emotionally, after cancer treatment. The rest of the morning will include presentations by the team around the topics patients are most concerned about. The afternoon will include helping patients and their families and friends think about how they can work towards their goals.

Guests will also have the chance to talk to fellow patients and other family members and friends who are supporting a loved one post-cancer treatment. There will also be information available from voluntary organisations including Macmillan Cancer Support, Age UK, University of the Third Age and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau who can all offer advice to people on how to live well after cancer.
The events will benefit patients who are 2-4 months post-cancer treatment, as well as their family and friends.

The events will take place:
15 December 2014, 10am – 3pm at Castle Street Community Centre, Kendal
20 January 2015, 10am – 3pm at Morton Community Centre, Carlisle
February/March 2015 – Barrow, details to be confirmed
February/March 2015 – West Cumbria, details to be confirmed

First phase of Carlisle Care Home pilot launch
The average age in Cumbria is higher than the national average and by 2035, the numbner aged over 65 is set to increase by 60.5 per cent. To meet the changing health needs of an older population family doctors in Carlisle are piloting a new way of caring for patients in residential nursing homes. The Carlisle Care Home Pilot has been approved by NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the major commissioner of health services in the county.

All 12 GP Practices in the Carlisle Locality, working with the CGG, have created a system to better manage their nursing and care home residents, improving services and reducing the number of unnecessary hospital admissions. The pilot has been launched with the first phase of residents benefiting from the scheme and will eventually cover all 24 nursing and residential homes caring for 927 older people in Carlisle.

A multi-disciplinary team of nurses, including two senior nurses, a pharmacist, medicines management specialist and staff will be supported by GPs dedicated to the care home residents.
The aim of the Carlisle Care Home Team is to improve the quality and safety of health care for residents in nursing and residential homes and the pilot is led by Brunswick House Medical Group on behalf of all the Carlisle GP practices. Dr Chris Corrigan from BrunswickHouse Medical Group said “We aim to proactively identify any potential health issues residents may have to create care plans to help keep people as healthy and safe as possible. We will be working with the care home teams, the resdients and their family or carers to develop personalised care plans. The steps we can take will help reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and accident and emergency attendances for residents.”

NHS Cumbria CCG lead GP for Carlisle, Dr Colin Patterson said: “The plan has an ambitious target of reducing unscheduled hospital admissions from care homes in Carlisle by helping residents stay healthy and safe, manage their long term conditions and reduce unhelpful prescribing. Key to the project is proactive care planning for those in nursing and residential homes, improving the proportion of older people with a care plan which anticipates health issues and can act to prevent many health concerns developing.”

The reconfiguration of clinical services – What is the evidence?
The reconfiguration of clinical services continues to generate public and political controversy, locally and nationally. Given significant financial and workforce constraints, now and in the future, pressure to reconfigure services is only likely to increase. But what are the key drivers of reconfiguration and what is the evidence to underpin it?
This paper (from the Kings Fund) aims to help those planning and implementing major clinical service reconfigurations ensure that change is as evidence-based as possible. It investigates the five key drivers – quality, workforce, cost, access and technology – across 13 clinical service areas, summarising the research evidence and professional guidance available in each. It builds on a major forthcoming analysis of reviews of service reconfigurations commissioned by the National Institute of Health Research and conducted by the National Clinical Advisory Team (NCAT).
Link to the report:

Jozi Brown
Senior Engagement Officer
Cumbria CVS
01768 800350