March 2015 Newsletter

Lancashire / Greater Manchester Merger update:

No more progress here. We do still have two distinct Area Teams for Lancs and GM with a combined overarching Director level structure. The latest is that this is the way it will remain but in these changing times, who knows. There are various implications to the size of the commissioning organisation and we need to be keeping a careful eye on developments.

Electoral Purdah:

Fitting with tradition and due process there needs to be a state of suspended animation created for six weeks prior to an election. This commences at the beginning of April and continues until after the election. Any NHS changes, developments etc will need to be put on hold until we have a new government.

Audience with the LDN:

We had a good turn out with around 125 attending. It was a quick fire show with a substantial amount of information coming out in a relatively short period of time. I hope for those that attended it gave an insight into where we are at present and also who is involved with what. From my perspective and the presentation I gave from the Routine Care Network (RCN) you will have gathered that we do have regional representation on this group and we will be posting email contacts for these RCN members on the website. If you need to discuss anything around the activities of the RCN please feel free to contact your local rep. The slides presented from all speakers will be available on both Maxcourse and the LDC websites soon.

How to contact your LDC:

If anyone needs to contact the LDC in their area it is a simple process. You will all have details of your individual LDC Secretaries but if you do not have those details please feel free to contact us via the website or email me directly at If the query is generic I can help you with it, if it is more localised I will ensure the message is passed on to the appropriate person.

Website access:

I have had feedback that some people have had difficulty accessing the website. If you are one of those or know someone in that position please feel free to email Stuart Johnson (Communications Lead) on and we will get it sorted out.

Just one more thing:

OK so the Hi Viz guys are still at it and one of the infamous sites is at “Windy Harbour” junction, which is on my way to and from numerous meetings etc. The road works have been going on for four months now and the delays have been horrendous. Needless to say when you have queued for up to an hour to get through there is nothing happening at what should be the point of delivery. One is greeted by a massive array of machinery, traffic lights and piles of earth but nothing to show for it. I do assume that we are heading for one of those peculiar traffic control hazards whereby we have a stream of traffic travelling down what could best be described as a country lane and then we open up the junction to the size of the M6 whilst cars spread out into a number of lanes and rev up their engines waiting for the lights to change. Once the go ahead is given they all fly off with accelerator pedal to the floor only to find that in 50 yards they all have to merge back up again onto the narrow country lane – progress or an accident waiting to happen? – I suspect the latter! And another thing: we are now getting into silly season when the temperature gets above freezing, the sun starts to shine a bit and – guess what – all those drivers with soft tops drive around roofless and get frozen stiff and wet through!. Why do they do this to themselves? It is a form of self harm! Soft top cars were intended for warm climates which ours is certainly not. How to spot a soft top driver when not in the car? Well they are the ones who have become totally rigid due to the cold and only a short step away from rigor mortis! Onwards and upwards! Bernard

Bernard Alston Sec Lancs LDC Exec

#rcn #LDN