Accessing your patient records

Have you accessed your records yet? If you want to see how Dr Amir Hannan’s practice has enabled patients take a look at his website

Follow him on Twitter @amirhannanDr Amir Hannan

Patients have had the right to read their paper records since the 1990s. However, few ever choose
to do so unless there is a problem or a complaint, perhaps in part due to procedural and physical
constraints. With the widespread use of electronic records, it is now much more feasible for
patients to access their own records directly. This presents new challenges and opportunities for
health professionals.

This document has been created primarily by the doctors who pioneered the work to enable
patients to access their own electronic health records. The doctors have explored the opportunities
for people not just to read their records but also to enable them to better look after their own
health, interacting positively with the healthcare system.

It is important that all health professionals understand that new ways of working with patients
become possible with electronic records. However, it is essential to apply these new ways safely
and effectively. This document offers sound principles, developed in conjunction with lessons
learnt, to underpin such changes in clinical practice.

Record Access provides most benefit if used as an integral part of the care process. If patients
access their records, particularly in the context of joint decision-making in partnership with their
health professionals, the result can lead to improvements in their care.

Record Access is a new development and this guidance is intended to be a dynamic document
that will evolve as more experience is gained.

Dr Libby Morris, Chair, RCGP Informatics Group
Dr Bob Milne, Deputy Chair, RCGP Informatics Group
1 September 2010

Check out this link Health Informatics Report (1)


Using co-production to build a population health system

This presentation was given by Professor John Howarth
MBBS DTM&H FRCGP FFPH Deputy CEO, Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Professor of Primary Care UCLAN Clinical lead for CLIC and BLIC

Citizen led healthcare

Shared by Cumbria Action for Health Network News (9 May 17)  The presentation was given at the last Cumbria Action for Health Network meeting. It provides some useful context and is relevant to the whole of Cumbria.

If you are not already a member of Cumbria CVS we recommend that you join.  Check out their website – lots of support on offer at

Better Care Together Grange and the Lakes ICC

Last night I attended the Better Care Together meeting at The Marchesi Centre. Windermere LA23 2AF


Better Care Together is an initiative that brings together local people with health and care staff from the NHS and Local Government to promote and maintain health and well being.

There was praise from Colin Ranshaw for the village community of Staveley north of Kendal and mentions for their excellent pharmacist Anothai Chareunsy  

We shared ideas and discussed how we can make a difference together in the Grange and Lakes area.

Our local contact is Tel: 01539 777327

It is really important that everyone supports their local ICC – I shall publish details of meetings when I receive them, but watch the local press and follow @BCTMorecambeBay on Twitter


Integrated Care Communities in North Cumbria – Primary and Community Delivery Framework

Developing joined up health & care in communities – via Cumbria Partnership Trust

Integrated Care Communities (ICCs) is one of the terms being used nationally and locally to describe the ambition to join up health and care services in a given community, tailored to the needs of the local population.

5 things you need to know about Integrated Care Communities:

  • An ICC will see health and social care professionals, GPs, the voluntary sector and the community working as one team within one system to support the health and care needs of population it serves. It will focus on helping the population to manage long term health conditions and improve access to information about healthier lifestyles locally.
  • Evidence shows that the most successful ICCs will reduce the overall number of people who need to be cared for in hospital and improve the health and wellbeing of communities.
  • The evidence is supported locally by early work in Millom and Carlisle that has shown that providing more care outside hospital, particularly for the frail and elderly, has led to faster recovery times and enabled more people to be treated at the same time.
  • The leaders from all partners across the system including Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust, NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, Cumbria County Council, & GP practices have made a firm commitment to develop ICCs and have started work together to provide better support to teams locally, many of whom are already using principles of integrated working in providing care.
  • West, North & East Cumbria has been divided into eight Integrated Care Communities to align with clusters of GP practices and their registered populations. Three Integrated Care Communities managers have been appointed to work across all the organisations in West, North & East Cumbria to support the development of ICC’s with a specific focus on 3 ‘Early Implementer areas’ – Workington, Cockermouth & Maryport and Eden.

This animation of ‘Sam’s Story’ describes the thinking behind the ICCs.

There are 8 Integrated Care communities in the North Cumbria area –

  1. Workington – ICC manager
  2. Eden – ICC manager
  3. Maryport and Cockermouth – ICC manager
  4. Copeland – ICC manager –
  5. Solway and Keswick – main contact
  6. Carlisle Urban (I) also known as Carlisle Healthcare – and
  7. Carlisle Urban (II) – no ICC management function currently in place
  8. Carlisle Rural – no ICC management function in place but Muriel Nixon was providing some support to the ICC –

Catherine Withington is the Programme Manager for the ICC work – now known as the Primary and Community Delivery Framework.  Catherine’s email address is

I hope to be able to share links in South Cumbria shortly

Many STPs failing to engage with the voluntary sector – NAVCA

NAVCA has published the annual survey on relations between the voluntary sector and the local health and care system.

 It shows that although relationships are improving overall, in some key areas the voluntary sector is frozen out; Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) where local health services are commissioned are a particularly worrying example.

The findings are:

·         Generally relationships are getting better.

·         There is voluntary sector representation on 79 per cent of Health and Wellbeing Boards,

·         Relationships with CCGs continue to improve.

·         The majority of NAVCA members have good or excellent relationships with their local Healthwatch.

·         NAVCA members’ involvement with JSNAs has fallen.

 Neil Cleeveley, Chief Executive said “The NHS is facing unprecedented pressure and needs the help of the voluntary sector. Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, made this clear in the NHS Five Year Forward View. NHS England has also said that local voluntary sector infrastructure is key to helping the NHS work with local and smaller organisations. This survey identifies where the NHS locally is getting it right and that’s to be celebrated. We need those local NHS bodies that are not engaging with their voluntary sector to raise their ambitions”.

 Read more at:

New Parkinson’s campaign backed by NHS chiefs

With Parkinson’s Awareness Week taking place between 10-16 April, the Parkinson’s UK charity have introduced a new campaign “We Won’t Wait”, which encourages the public to donate towards research, aiming to find new treatments for the disorder.

Doctors at Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are supporting the campaign to help find new treatments for the condition, as well as educating the public on what treatments are currently available.

The last significant drug discovery for Parkinson’s disease was over 50 years ago and campaigners are keen that more is done, so that people who suffer from the disorder can benefit from improved treatments. Parkinson’s affects part of the brain and over time the condition is deteriorative. The most common symptoms include tremors (involuntary shaking of parts of the body), stiff muscles and slow movement.

Parkinson’s disease is a serious condition; there are an estimated 127,000 people in the UK, who suffer from the disorder.

The treatments currently available to help reduce the symptoms include:

  • Physiotherapy and occupational therapy
  • Medication
  • Surgery

A number of people who suffer from the disease respond well to the treatment and their quality of life is enhanced; however, in a few cases, patients do not respond well to treatment and for this reason, campaigners are keen that research into new treatments continues.

Dr Alex Gaw, from Morecambe Bay CCG, said: “There is still a lot that needs to be done for people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. This is why I am calling upon local residents to support the Parkinson’s UK charity, so more money can be spent on research into new life-changing drugs.

“If you feel you are experiencing symptoms of this disorder, I would suggest seeing your GP for a consultation. They may refer you to a specialist for further tests if needed.”

For more information about the charity, Parkinson’s UK, which can help people who are living with the disease and provide them with support groups in their local area, call 0808 800 0303 or email

NHS Choices is also available for anyone who needs any help or advice regarding the disorder.


Working together to get the best healthcare for Morecambe Bay

The NHS in North Lancashire and South Cumbria has announced changes to the arrangements for planning and buying local health services.

From 1 April 2017, NHS Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will take responsibility for commissioning the majority of local health services for people living in the localities of Furness, South Lakeland, Carnforth, Morecambe, Lancaster and Garstang. The changes come after NHS Lancashire North CCG and NHS Cumbria CCG submitted proposals in 2016 to NHS England to alter their boundaries, combining their resources for commissioning across the whole of Morecambe Bay.

Andrew Bennett, Chief Officer of the NHS Morecambe Bay CCG, said: “Both CCGs have worked closely on the “Better Care Together” strategy for Morecambe Bay over the past three years in conjunction with our partners in the local hospitals, community health services and general practices. By bringing our commissioning teams together across the area, we believe we will make better use of resources, remove duplication and apply a consistent approach to health services across Morecambe Bay.”

Dr Alex Gaw, GP in Morecambe and Clinical Chair of the NHS Morecambe Bay CCG, said: “We want to make sure that local health services work much better together. We know that we need to get the most out of each pound of NHS funding as well as help our communities to be as healthy as possible. Through this boundary change, we believe we can support the work of the healthcare system across Morecambe Bay, both now and in the future.”

Jon Rush Appointed as Chair for NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group

A former police chief superintendent has been appointed the Chair of the Governing Body for NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). Jon Rush has served as a lay member with responsibility for public and patient engagement for NHS Cumbria CCG since 2012. The organisation advertised for a new Chair in February ahead of boundary change which sees the creation of the new organisation on 1 April 2017.

Stephen Childs, chief executive of NHS North Cumbria CCG, said: “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Jon Rush to the position of Chair for NHS North Cumbria CCG. Jon is an experienced lay member of the CCG, having led on public and patient engagement for a number of years, and combines a detailed knowledge of the west, north and east Cumbria healthcare system with a genuine passion to make a lasting difference and a burning ambition to move as quickly as it is safe to do so. Add to this Jon’s unquestionable leadership skills demonstrated in previous very senior public offices, means we have the ideal Chair to guide our Governing Body through the exciting challenges ahead”.

Jon, who lives in Stainton near Penrith, said: “I am extremely proud and honoured to have been selected for the role. Having been with the CCG since it was created I am acutely aware of the challenges that we face in delivering a safe and sustainable health service for our community. The last few months have demonstrated how concerned our communities are about ensuring we have the best possible health care in the future. This is recognised by all the health care providers, local authorities and the CCG and we need to develop the public’s involvement in designing and shaping our future services. I am sure we can do this together in a constructive and thoughtful way and hope it helps to rebuild the trust and confidence of the public in health services in west, north and east Cumbria.”

Jon Rush joined Greater Manchester Police in 2007 after spending 24 years working for Cumbria Constabulary where he became Deputy Commander for North Cumbria.

He left Greater Manchester Police in September 2013 after 30 years service. He added: “We know there is a lot of hard work ahead and it will require the health, social care and voluntary services in our area to work with the support and buy in of all our politicians, communities and business leaders to achieve success.”

Independent report into West North and East Cumbria health consultation published 

24th February 2017 Press release

The independent report looking at responses to the Healthcare for the Future consultation on services across west, north and east Cumbria has been published today (24 February).

The report, from specialist consultation analysts The Campaign Company, provides an analysis of responses to potential changes to emergency and acute care, maternity and children’s services, stroke services, emergency surgery, trauma and orthopaedic services, and community hospital inpatient beds.

The report looks at responses from well over 5,000 people who shared their views on the options for consultation either online, or by filling in the survey in the consultation document or by writing in by email or post. It also analyses feedback from thousands of other people that took part in public meetings and other consultation activities.

Following an extensive pre-consultation engagement period, the Healthcare for the Future consultation took place between 26 September 2016 and 19 December 2016. The 12-week consultation saw 17 public meetings, and a large number of stakeholder update sessions, deliberative events, workshops and specific events for seldom-heard (or hard-to-reach) groups. It also saw the return of the Healthwatch ‘chatty van’, which visited locations across west, north and east Cumbria to ensure those in isolated communities would be listened to, engaging with more than 3,600 people. A further 1,000 people also took part in a telephone survey conducted with a demographically-balanced segment of the population in west, north and east Cumbria.

The press release on the independent report can be read here.

There is an executive summary which can be read here and the full independent report into theHealthcare for the Future public consultation responses can be found here.

What happens next?

Health leaders from across the system and NHS Cumbria CCG’s Governing Body – who have already been considering public feedback from the consultation including any alternative proposals suggested by members of the public and community groups – will now review the findings of the report and consider these as part of its decision-making process.

The outcome of public consultation is an important factor in health service decision-making. It is one of a number of important factors. Others include clinical, financial and practical considerations. The results of public consultation do not represent a vote on, or a veto over, any form of change.

NHS Cumbria Clinical Commission Group’s Governing Body will make a decision on the proposed services changes at its Governing Body meeting on 8 March. The meeting will be held in public at the Oval Centre in Workington. The decisions of the Governing Body will then be considered by Cumbria County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee.

Thank you for taking part

We would like to thank all of you who took the time to give us your views as part of the consultation, whether by filling in the consultation questionnaire online or in paper copy, emailing us or using the Freepost address, attending one of the public meetings, workshops, stakeholder or deliberative events, by dropping in to the ‘chatty van’, or taking part in the telephone survey.

A message from Stephen Childs, chief executive of NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group:

“It is clear from the volume and the quality of the responses we received that people across Cumbria gave the issues very serious thought. Many people had clearly spent a lot of time writing their submissions, compiling information and pointing us to evidence they felt we should consider. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part in the process.

“It demonstrates that people care a great deal about their health and care services and that is a great endorsement of the NHS here and a compliment to the staff on the front line delivering services every day.”

NHS England consultation – generic commissioning policies

From the Neurological Alliance 23rd January 2017: 

“NHS England released consultation documents for new generic commissioning policies in October 2016. The deadline for responses was 15 January 2017 and we did submit a Neurological Alliance response.

Here’s the summary of what we submitted:

This consultation response covers the NHS England consultation exercises on four proposed generic commissioning policies:
1 In-year service developments
2 Individual Funding Requests
3 Funding for experimental and unproven treatments
4 Continuing funding after clinical trials

We welcome the opportunity to comment on these. NHS England’s current generic commissioning policies were adopted on an interim basis in March 2013 with a commitment to review in the same year. The adoption of permanent policies is therefore long overdue. However, we have concerns about the proposed policies as they currently stand, particularly around the extremely high thresholds and lengthy processes proposed for In-Year Service Developments (IYSDs) and Individual Funding Requests (IFRs). In addition, we are concerned about the absence from this consultation of a policy for access to clinically critically urgent treatment outside established policy. There is currently an interim policy for funding treatments for patients at clear risk of substantial and irreversible deterioration in their condition, or death, within three months, but it is not included in this consultation exercise. It is essential to patients’ welfare that there is a clear process for accessing funding in these cases.”

A slightly edited version of the full submission is available here:

Generic commissioning policies – Neurological Alliance response