Health service’s future – make your views known

People keen to influence the future of the NHS locally are being encouraged to make their views known.

The public and clinical staff are being asked to help answer questions – including ‘Do you want to influence the future of our local NHS?’, ‘Have you got ideas of how we can make health and care more affordable?’, ‘How can we prioritise what we need to focus on most to make health and care better for everyone?’ – in a series of engagement events across the county.

Three events are being held in the coastal West Sussex area. Picture: Shutterstock

Three events are being held in the coastal West Sussex area. Picture: Shutterstock

Following the national publication of the NHS Long-term Plan – www.england.nhs.uk/long-term-plan – local organisations have been asked to work together to develop their own plans, which will set out how the national plan will work across local areas.

To help develop this local plan, doctors, specialists and clinicians have come together across the area for a ‘population health check’.

They have looked at clinical evidence, patient experience and local knowledge and given a diagnosis of what needs to change from their expert point of view.

The local NHS now wants to seek the views, experience and ideas of patients, public, staff, volunteers and carers, so the local plans are developed in a way that best reflects the needs of the local population.

Dr Minesh Patel, local GP and chairman of the Sussex and East Surrey Clinical and Professional Cabinet, which developed the health check, said: “The health and care needs of our populations are constantly changing and the way we all live our lives is constantly changing.

“So, it is essential that local health and care services also constantly change to give our people the care they need in a way that best suits their busy lives.

“There is also a need to change how we use the resources we have available for health and care services.

“We have limited money, staff and buildings and we have to improve how we use what we have.

“We want the local plans to be co-produced as much as possible with as many different people, groups and communities as possible to make sure they truly reflect the needs of our population.”

Representatives of the local NHS will be going out to speak and listen to people, patients and staff, and will be encouraging many others to give their feedback. This will be supported by Healthwatch in Sussex and Surrey, who are working with the NHS to provide public engagement opportunities on the future of health and care services.

The engagement will build on conversations and feedback that has already taken place and will help identify the priority areas that need to be the focus of the local plans.

As part of the project, three events are being hosted by the Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group.

The first will be held from 5pm to 7pm on Tuesday, March 19, at The Barn, Field Place, Durrington. The second will be held from 10am to midday on Wednesday, March 20, at the Assembly Room, North Street, Chichester. And the third will be held from 2pm to 4pm on Wednesday, March 27, at The Grange Communty Centre in Bepton Road, Midhurst. For more information, visit www.coastalwestsussexccg.nhs.uk/our-health-and-care-our-future