February 27, 2019 11.32 am This story is over 56 months old

More focus on ‘preventing illness’ needed in North Lincolnshire

CCG chief said more care is needed ‘closer to home’

More focus needs to be given to preventing people from getting ill in order to improve health services in North Lincolnshire.

Alex Seale, chief operating officer at the region’s clinical commissioning group, said the organisation needs to work to prevent chronic conditions, such as heart problems and diabetes by providing care “closer to home”.

She said the region faces challenges due to an increased demand on services because of an ageing population.

It’s a problem faced by commissioning groups across the country as organisations look at the best way to provide services.

But, Mrs Seale said the CCG is working with partners to improve care, such as providing services in the community.

Health Place, Brigg, where North Lincolnshire CCG is based.

“In common with the rest of the country, we have seen an increase in demand and an ageing population who often live with chronic conditions,” she said.

“We see an increase in pressure on our hospital services and on community, mental health and GP services as well.

“A lot of what we do is looking at how we work to try and manage some of those and make sure we have some of the right services available.”

Mrs Seale, who joined from East Riding of Yorkshire CCG three months ago and completes as new look executive team at the organisation, said part of the solution is bringing care closer to people’s homes.

The idea is to prevent chronic conditions by promoting healthier lifestyles in the community, but also to identify them earlier.

“People are familiar with services in hospitals, but one of the things we are looking to do at the moment is getting care closer to people’s homes,” said Mrs Seale.

“That moves through trying to prevent chronic illness, such as people adopting the right healthy behaviours to stop them getting heart problems and diabetes.”

Scunthorpe General Hospital. Picture: Colin Babb.

The move was echoed by local GP and chair of the CCG, Dr Faisel Baig, who said the plan would also help relieve pressure on hospitals.

The proposal also follows a review of hospital services in the region.

The Humber Coast and Vale Sustainability and Transformation Plan looks to review services at Scunthorpe General Hospital and Diana Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby and will set out plans for healthcare in the region in the coming years.

Mrs Seale said the the review is expected to continue throughout the year.

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