LETTER: NHS and a desire to improve

We would like to thank you for your excellent coverage of the local NHS over the past six weeks.

Clearly Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CWS CCG) is sincere in its desire to improve local services and involve the public in developing the Coastal Care plan, which will integrate health and social community care and reduce the need for expensive hospital care.

However, with the current funding crisis, struggling financial state of CWS CCG and the over optimism of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for the whole of Sussex, we cannot see how this is going to be possible. Certainly not by 2020.

Two recent reports from the National Audit Office and the Nuffield Trust stress that without significant investment integration of health and social care services won’t be possible whilst at the same dealing with the current pressures on the system.

The Nuffield adds that even with investment it will take longer than three years to improve community services and crucially won’t save any money. Saving money is the main reason for the STP so we fear that what will actually happen, between now and 2020, is that local health and social care services will suffer major cuts.

We applaud the CCG and Observer’s willingness to engage with the public on this vital matter of our health services. We only hope that the same openness will prevail in communicating the challenges posed to these same services by the centrally imposed STP.

Margaret Guest

Don’t Cut Us Out

Jan Birtwell

Coastal West Sussex 38 Degrees NHS Group

Whyke Lane

Chichester