In Lancashire and Cumbria there are 2 county councils:
and 2 unitary authorities:
It has always been recognised that health and social care need to work together to provide seamless services to patients / clients. The mechanisms to do this have varied over the years and many GPs would say that local integration has got worse over the last few years. The new strategic body to oversee integration is the Health & Wellbeing Boards. Each county council and unitary authority has its own Health and Wellbeing Board. They have been established as a forum where key leaders from the health and care system can work together to improve the health and wellbeing of their local community. Each board will collaborate to understand their local community’s needs, agree priorities and encourage commissioners to work in a more joined up way, to ensure that services are more joined up.
The former PCT Public Health function has transferred to these organisations with effect from 1 April 2013 which covers the following areas:
- Health Improvement – commissioning services that promote health and prevent ill health, supporting healthy lifestyles and addressing inequalities in health and the wider social influences of health.
- Health Protection – protecting the public from communicable and infectious diseases and environmental hazards and ensuring communities are resilient to the health effects of incidents and emergencies.
- Population Healthcare – working with the NHS and social care commissioners and providers to achieve safe, effective and equitable health outcomes through service planning and re-design, efficiency, audit and evaluation.
There are a range of enhanced services that are now commissioned by the Local Authorities. These are listed as follows:
- Nicotine Replacement Therapy – Stop smoking service
- NHS Health checks
- Diabetic Retinal Screening
- Supervised Consumption
- IUCD contraception and sexual health
- Emergency Hormonal Contraception
The LMC has established a sound working relationship with the public health teams and processes have been developed to ensure that enhanced services are discussed with the LMC prior to them being issued to practices. An example of this is the NHS Health Check where discussions have been held with the LMC to agree the contract, the service specification and also the tariff. There will be further discussions when new initiatives affecting primary care are developed.