The Knowsley Healthier Together Board reported significant progress on the delivery of its 2022-23 priorities and outlined its objectives for 2023-25 at the Health and Wellbeing Board meeting on Wednesday 19 September.
Improvements to access and addressing health inequalities
The report noted that during the last year resident’s access to care has improved with the implementation of three Primary Care Networks. This means that, despite GP numbers in Knowsley being the lowest in the region, the borough’s 25 GP practices are able to better serve the needs of residents with support from NHS Cheshire and Merseyside.
Progress is also being made on the transition of St Chads Walk-in Centre to an Urgent Care Treatment Centre which will see increased opening hours and a wider range of diagnostic services available for residents.
The work at St Chad’s Walk-In Centre is part of a wider priority to address health inequalities in Northwood – one of the boroughs most deprived wards. Health and Wellbeing Board partners are working with people who live, work and volunteer in the area to improve health care, including residents access to GPs and urgent care.
A project manager has also been recruited and is engaging with the local community in Northwood, with the support of Healthwatch Knowsley.
Supporting our most vulnerable residents
The Health and Wellbeing Board also reported progress in its work to support vulnerable elderly residents.
In collaboration with a number of partners, enhanced health provision in care homes has been established. This includes an Urgent Care Response service which can support patients with urgent care needs within the care home setting.
A new falls pick up service has also been delivered in care homes, with staff being provided with training and equipment to enable them to safely pick up residents after a fall without the need to call an ambulance.
This work has contributed to a reduction in the number of Knowsley’s over 65 population attending A&E departments. However, overall the number of A&E attendances continue to fluctuate.
Improvements to children and family services
The Health and Wellbeing Board has worked with the Knowsley Council and Wirral Community Health and Care (WCHC) NHS Foundation Trust to improve the 0-25 service. The service which includes health visiting and school nursing is now in a much stronger position and has recently been commended by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (formally public health England).
Work to improve the neuro-development pathway for children and families and reduce the backlog of residents waiting for assessment of conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is ongoing. It is expected that the backlog will be fully cleared in 2023-24.
Priorities for 2023/25
The Knowsley Healthier Together Plan for 2023-25 outlines the four local priorities for Knowslsey:
· Reducing health inequalities in Northwood
· Delivery of the Knowsley Offer
· Reducing avoidable hospital admissions
· Better access to GP services
The priorities align to both national and regional strategy and have been previously signed off by The Health and Wellbeing Board.
Cllr Christine Bannon, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Health, said: “Supporting our residents and ensuring that they have access to healthcare is a priority for the Council and our partners and I am delighted at the progress being made.
“We will continue to work collaboratively to achieve the aims set out in the 2023-2025 plan.”
The Knowsley Healthier Together Board is a Partnership Board comprising Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, the NHS, Healthwatch, One Knowsley and other local representatives.
More information on the Knowsley Healthier Together Plan or the Health and Wellbeing Board, visit https://www.knowsleyhwb.org.uk/