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A plan to improve health and wellbeing across Lancashire and South Cumbria and meet future financial challenges has been published

And a partnership between NHS and local councils in Pennine Lancashire, which is made of East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen, have been key contributers to the STP.

The Together A Healthier Future programme have been working alongside residents and communities to put plans in place to ensure a healthier future for Pennine Lancashire.

Stark national statistics show that whilst residents’ health has improved over the last 10 years, people living here still have some of the worst health in the country and die earlier than people living elsewhere.

Analysis also shows that if nothing is done, there will be a funding gap of millions of pounds in five years’ time as demand is outstripping the funding available.

It’s a tough challenge but health and council leaders are convinced that working together alongside residents and communities gives us the best chance of ensuring a healthier future for Pennine Lancashire.

Graham Burgess, Chair of Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

We are key partners in work being done across Lancashire and South Cumbria as part of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan but it is vital we develop plans in Pennine Lancashire that are right for residents. We have been working for a while now with lots of discussions taking place with residents, staff and the community to do that. We want to look at what we can change in the way we work in health and social care as well as at how we live. There’s never been a more important time to change the way we work in Pennine Lancashire. This is something we can and will change. Together we will find ways of living better and longer lives.

Dr Phil Huxley, Chair of East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

We are committed to changing our health and care system here in Pennine Lancashire for the better. We have some of the worst health in the country. We can and must do better and we can do this by everyone – staff, residents, businesses, elected representatives, community groups and organisations – working together. Of course, there is not an endless pot of money to achieve this and there is a significant financial challenge but we can change the way things are done for the better.

We are still at the stage of talking to people, getting their views and designing what the future of health and care in Pennine Lancashire will look like. We want to talk to as many people as possible to help shape our plans for the future.

To get involved, visit the programme website search ‘together a healthier future’ on Facebook or follow on Twitter @ahealthyfuture_ You can also phone: (01282) 644738 or write to: Together a Healthier Future, Pennine Lancashire Transformation Project Team, Walshaw House, Regent Street, Nelson, BB9 8AS