We are already planning a weighty programme for 2018 but as 2017 draws to a close I want to thank our amazing committee and members who have turned out not just across Cumbria, but across the north of England, Greater Manchester and Cheshire to attend our meetings. Support and attendance from Regional officers from the main neuro charities has been crucial to our work and I am delighted that they feel it is worth their long journeys to attend our meetings.
Those members who attend with long-term neurological conditions make all our endeavours worth while, and it is for them and the hundreds of others in Cumbria that we work to enhance services. They keep us grounded and highlight what really matters to them.
We aim also to support our clinical colleagues, who care deeply about the work they do, and bring their expertise to our meetings so we can solve problems together. We have been pleased to support Dr Jitka Vanderpol with her groundbreaking work on headaches and the addition to our committee this summer of Consultant Neurologist David Footitt has been an added bonus.
We have spent 6 long years gathering information, working in partnership and making neurological services our priority. We now feel on the cusp of something very exciting and believe that the needs of people living with a neuro condition might finally be prioritised and addressed. Stephen Eames CEO NHS in North Cumbria and CEO Jackie Daniel UHMBT and Andrew Bennett Morecambe Bay CCG and in South Cumbria have received our response on how specialist neurological rehab. should be structured and we are keen to work closely with them to co-produce new strategies http://www.bettercaretogether.co.uk/
Co-production, co-operation and critical friendship are our aims.
The TLAP National Co-production Advisory Group says the following about co-production:
‘Co-production is not just a word, it is not just a concept, it is a meeting of minds coming together to find shared solutions. In practice, co-production involves people who use services being consulted, included and working together from the start to the end of any project that affects them. When co-production works best, people who use services and carers are valued by organisations as equal partners, can share power and have influence over decisions made’.
(See also https://www.england.nhs.uk/blog/david-mcnally/ )
As always, we want to thank Louise Chance at A Chance for Life for her unstinting contribution to both the Alliance and Headway groups. http://www.achanceforlife.co.uk/
We have regular and valuable advice and correspondence from Jozi Brown at Cumbria CVS and strongly recommend 3rd sector groups become members. https://cumbriacvs.org.uk/
Our latest venture – Cafe Neuro in Barrow is underway and like all new ventures we are learning as we go, but I do hope that anyone living with a neurological condition will feel able to come and join in. We have appreciated the help we have received from Dr Farhan Amin, Furness GP and Lesley Graham Public Health Manager to get this started. You can find our programme at https://cumbrianeurologicalalliance.wordpress.com/new-neuro-drop-in-centre-barrow/
(Above) Barrow planning meeting for Cafe Neuro with representatives from Headway, MNDA and MND Care Centre at Lancashire Hospitals Trust, MS Society, Stroke UK, Cumbria University, CPFT Parkinson’s Disease, A Chance for Life, Furness Carers and UHMBT.
The Cumbria Neurological Alliance is pleased to be a branch of the National Neurological Alliance which is the only collective voice for 80 organisations working together to make life better for millions of people in England with a neurological condition. Together we work with our member organisations to campaign nationally and locally to ensure better services and outcomes for all those with a neurological condition. http://neural.org.uk/
If you would like to join us just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our diary dates for 2018 are on this website and we look forward to making great progress in 2018.
With best wishes for a Peaceful Christmas
Chair Cumbria Neurological Alliance