A new chair has been appointed for the board which brings together health and care partners in north Cumbria.

Jon Rush, who also chairs NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the Joint Committee of CCG’s in the North East and North Cumbria, will lead the group that brings together health and care providers and commissioners and other strategic partners including Cumbria CVS, Healthwatch Cumbria and Cumbria Police.

It was established in September 2018 to ensure a joined up approach to deliver the best outcome for patients and to ensure the best use of resources for the community by working together.

Mr Rush said: “This is a time of great pressure on the NHS and our care partners and it is more important than ever that we meet together to discuss our shared challenges, working together for the best interests of our community.

“While no one can fail to have had enormous appreciation of the exceptional work across the NHS and care system during covid from our care homes, homecare providers, GPs, community, mental health and hospital teams, we are also aware of significant pressures on these services as lockdown eases and more people need health and care support, while we also manage a reduced capacity because of the need to follow strict infection prevention measures.”

The North Cumbria Integrated Care Partnership published its five year strategy in response to the NHS Long Term Plan at the start of this year. It was developed following engagement with staff, partners and community groups across north Cumbria with support from Healthwatch Cumbria.

The board was established under the leadership of Professor Stephen Eames who now chairs the Humber, Coast and Vale Partnership Integrated Care System, and was previously chaired by Professor Robin Talbot who was the chair of North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust before he retired in March.

Mr Rush, who is a strong advocate for involving people in service change and improvement and working with the Third Sector, took up his role this month.