A PILOT initiative focusing on how health services could be arranged in East Lancashire has been launched in the Ribble Valley.

An integrated system, taking in NHS services, councils and voluntary groups, is being trialled across the new Ribblesdale Community Partnership.

East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is overseeing the fledgling arrangement, which will incorporate the area’s hospitals, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, Ribble Valley Council and Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Community Voluntary Support.

The area’s GP surgeries, Sabden and Whalley Medical Group, Slaidburn Country Practice, The Castle Medical Group, and Pendleside Medical Practice, have all signed up.

A Ribble Valley Council spokesman said: “The Ribblesdale locality, with its population of 38,000 comprised of the practices in Clitheroe, Whalley and Slaidburn, is an ideal size and the CCG was keen to establish this area as a pilot.”

Council bosses hope the two-year partnership will lead to greater co-operation between frontline health services and hospitals and mental health services.

Plans are being drawn up for a wide-ranging survey, to ensure the pilot concentrates on areas of concern for residents.

An East Lancashire CCG spokesman said: “The partnership is asking for the views of the public to help ensure that the focus of the pilot addresses issues that are important to residents with regards to improving and maintaining health, welling and care in Ribblesdale.”

To complete the survey visit http://ow.ly/T7z030aNbOF.

Paper copies of the survey can also be requested by ringing 01282 644740 or e-mailing communcations.eastlancsccg@nhs.net

The survey closes on May 19.