Stephen Singleton, Medical Director of the Cumbria Success Regime with Jan Den Bak,
Chair of West Cumbrians' VOICE for Health Care at meeting in Egremont in March 2016
We are now a bit wiser since my February blog. I was then very frustrated at the lack of information coming out of the Success Regime and the tight timescale for the public to be informed and involved. Beginning a public consultation in April would mean that people would have no time to digest and comment on any Success Regime proposals.
Pressure from ourselves and our MPs has been successful in putting the consultation back to mid-summer and on 1 March the Success Regime published its Progress Report outlining thinking so far.
We responded with an open letter to Success Regime Chair Sir Neil McKay saying what we found positive in their report, but also what we were worried about. The letter was published in the Whitehaven News and on the CN Group website on 8 March. You can read it here.
So, although we are happy with having some concrete information we are still waiting for an official engagement plan which will show how people are to be involved and especially to discuss the ‘emerging options’.
We can expect a more robust report at the end of this month. This report must show the Care Quality Commission (the health service regulators who put the trust in special measures) that we are going in the right direction. Then we hope the public will be fully informed, involved and listened to before the Success Regime begins its public consultation early this summer. This we expect to take twelve weeks and we will be working hard to encourage people to take part.
Following this consultation the Success Regime will have a firm plan to take to Government in September 2016. This will shape health and social care in Cumbria for the next five to ten years and possibly, dependent on government policy, well into the future. This is why we think it is so important that people take part in this consultation. You don’t have to be an expert. This is OUR National Health Service and it is our duty and in our interests to protect it.
We have had meetings with Stephen Eames, Chief Executive of our hospitals Trust and Stephen Singleton, Medical Director of the Success Regime. They both stated that nothing has been decided yet and that people are trying hard to find solutions acceptable to the people of West Cumbria. At the same time these messages come with caveats of difficulties with recruitment and the financial situation.
In other words ; ‘watch this space’.