Local NHS encourages people to have their say on what is important to them and their families

The largest discussion on the future of the NHS in its 65-year history is arriving in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups are encouraging local people to take part and have their say. The Call to Action is looking at all aspects of the NHS, including mental health services, GP services, hospitals including community hospitals, dental and pharmacies.

Local residents will have the chance to say what is working well and not so well in their local NHS.

In particular the two CCGs are keen to find out:

  • In terms of healthcare, what is most important to you and your family and why?
  • What might be some options for change?
  • What do you think are the main difficulties and opportunities for the NHS over the next five years?

Dr Caron Morton, Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s Accountable Officer, said: “Nationally the NHS is facing significant challenges with growing demand for services and a rising ageing population; we know that the NHS must adapt to meet this demand. Across England a ‘Call to Action’ has been launched, with all CCGs engaging with their communities to understand the local needs and priorities.

“Over the coming weeks we want to have an honest conversation with patients, clinicians and the public to listen to their expectations and needs of their NHS. We hope to be able to use these comments to shape and redesign future services, so that we are better prepared to meet these national and local challenges. However, we hope this conversation will also identify new opportunities to improve local services; enabling patients to receive quality, safe and patient driven care in the years to come. 

“We would like to encourage as many people as possible to have their say, as we can only shape services to meet local needs if we know your comments and priorities.” 

A Call to Action is a national initiative aimed at finding the best way to develop health services at a local level, tailoring them for the needs of local populations.

During October both CCGs are meeting with a range of community, voluntary and public groups to understand what matters most to people in Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin. The CCGs are also hoping to carry out roadshows across Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin in a range of venues including supermarkets and high streets. There is also the chance for people to have their say in an online survey, which closes on 4 November 2013 at www.shropshireccg.nhs.uk or www.telfordccg.nhs.uk .

All of this feedback will then be used to inform a large joint conference on 25 November in Telford. Both CCGs are encouraging members of the public, patients, clinicians, staff, and stakeholders to book a place on the conference and take part in the debate. The conference will look at national health challenges. This includes a generally ageing population, more people living with long-term conditions such as diabetes or dementia, and “lifestyle risks” including the impact of alcohol, smoking and obesity.

But there will also be a chance to look at local issues. These include:

In Shropshire

  • An older population than the national average, with the number of people aged over 65 increasing by 25 per cent from 2001-2011.
  • The challenges of delivering healthcare in very rural areas, with pockets of rural deprivation and travelling distances

In Telford

  • A growing urban population
  • A younger aged population than the national average, with a predicted rise in younger people; combined with child poverty with some wards in the 10% most deprived nationally

David Evans, Chief Officer of Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The results of our local Call to Action work will have a direct impact on the way our two CCGs plan services for the next three-five years. They will also help give NHS England a better view of local needs as they plan their approach to delivering services across the country.

“The challenges are considerable and the NHS clearly needs to adapt to changing circumstances. However there are also great opportunities, including significant technological strides and a strong drive towards providing more care in community settings.

“The conference will be the culmination of a month of engagement work, including an online survey. The CCGs will also be presenting the Call to Action at existing meetings with patients, public, and the voluntary sector. We hope as many local people as possible will contribute to our local call to action.”

The details of guest speakers, the conference programme and how to register will be announced shortly.

Both CCGs would like to encourage people to take part in their Call to Action online survey or alternatively people can request a paper copy by writing to:

Freepost Plus RTAA-XTHA-LGGC
Communications & Community Relations
Staffordshire CSS, Heron House
120 Grove Road
FAO call to action

The online survey closes on 4 November 2013.