The challenges we are facing

Across the health service, there is much to celebrate in terms of excellent care and amazing, committed staff.  

This has never been more evident than during the last couple of years when our colleagues and communities did an extraordinary job in supporting patients, their families and each other through the most significant challenge the NHS has ever faced. 

This was only made possible because we worked together to achieve a common goal.

We are, however, continuing to face some very significant challenges. These challenges – which are well documented nationwide – have been made worse by the disruption Covid-19 has caused. 

Across the NHS in Lancashire and South Cumbria:

  • We don’t have enough staff to support the demand within some specialties.
  • People are waiting too long for both emergency and planned care, despite the tremendous efforts of our teams to address this.
  • Access to services, and the quality of those services, varies depending on where people live.
  • People’s experience of healthcare, as well as their health and wellbeing before and after treatment, also varies depending on where they live.
  • We struggle to deliver some specialised services because we don’t have enough staff with the right skills; this can impact on quality and reliability.
  • Not all of our specialised services are configured in the right way to provide the highest possible quality of care.
  • Our communities experience significant inequalities – there are big differences in health between deprived and more affluent areas, which are neither acceptable nor fair.
  • Meanwhile, we are spending £110 for every £100 we receive – this is clearly not sustainable.

These challenges can make it difficult to ensure patients always have access to the care and support they need when they need it. If we don’t act this is likely to get worse.

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