NHS England to support acts to strengthen care in Cornwall

NHS England is putting in place a series of actions to strengthen health and social care in Cornwall, following publication of reports by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and the wider system.

The NHS, including local CCG leaders and GPs, and council leaders in Cornwall have now committed to working together on:

  • Consideration of combining Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group and Cornwall Council’s strategic commissioning functions, breaking down barriers to help tackle issues such delayed transfers of care and making best use to the of the funding available for NHS and social care. In the light of this, NHS England will consider the possibility of transferring management of the CCG to the council.
  •  Jointly funding a Director of Adult Social Services and Health Integration to provide the necessary senior leadership capacity to improve social care services and integrate health and social care.
  •  Bringing together clinical leaders from across the county, so doctors, nurses and other care professionals can address the challenges identified by the CQC and others.
  • Consolidation of all quality and safety issues, as identified by CQC and others, so they are prioritised and tackled in a single improvement plan for Cornwall.

Jennifer Howells, Joint Regional Director for the South West at NHS Improvement/NHS England, said:
“As the CQC has pointed out, fragmentation and lack of cohesion have hindered progress in Cornwall.

“Now is the time for everyone in Cornwall’s’ NHS and social care system to step up to these real challenges.

“We’re absolutely committed to supporting the Cornwall system, so local people can get the coordinated, high-quality and affordable care they deserve.

“The lack of improvement between inspections at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust is disappointing and it is important that the trust now makes rapid progress to maintain and restore the confidence of local people.”

Kathy Byrne, Chief Executive, made clear in her response to the CQC reports that by April 2018 an Accountable Care System would be established “that brings services together in way that can make a real difference to people’s care and more reliably meets the changing needs of our community over the years to come”.