Plans for delivering a more joined-up and sustainable health and care system for Somerset were on display in Berrow Village Hall last week (15 October 2018).
Members of the public were invited to attend a drop-in session to see and discuss the reasons why Somerset’s health services must change if they are to meet the ever rising demand for health care from the county’s growing elderly population and people living with long-term health conditions.
Compounding the problem is a serious shortage of GPs, nurses, hospital specialists and therapists, resulting in longer waiting times for some routine GP, hospital and community health services.
Somerset’s senior doctors and health managers hope that a preventing ill health, particularly directed to the growing levels of Type II diabetes and smoking related heart and lung disease, combined with an eventual shift of resources from costly district hospital care to community and family doctor based services, could be the best way to deliver better outcomes for patients and release sufficient money to keep up with the annual growth in demand.
Dr Alex Murray, a Bridgwater GP and clinical advisor on mental health issues to Somerset CCG said: “The NHS is still largely delivering healthcare based upon a model of service created in 1948. We need to modernise and embrace new ways of delivering health care if we are to keep up with demand.
“As a doctor, I see the impact every day upon people’s health from a lifetime of smoking, drinking to excess and lack of exercise. We have got to learn to value our health and realise that unless we help everyone in our communities to stay healthy, and use the NHS responsibly, it will not be able to keep up with the demand from treating people, largely living with preventable health problems.
“We want to hear the views and experiences of local people as part of our ‘Fit For My Future’ events and explain why we must change health care in coming years.”
NHS and local authority staff and clinicians are currently holding a number of public ‘Drop-in’ events across the county inviting people to share their views and experiences of local health and care service.
The plan, known as ‘Fit For My Future’, makes a case for change around six key health service themes:
- Urgent and emergency care
- Planned care
- Proactive care for long term conditions and frailty
- Mental health and learning disabilities
- Maternity and children’s services
- Promoting health and wellbeing
Further public drop-in events are taking place at:
Berrow Village Hall, Burnham-on-Sea Monday 15th October, 3pm - 6.30pm
Great Bow Wharf, Langport Wednesday 17th October, 10am- 2pm
Balsam Centre, Wincanton Tuesday 23rd October, 10am- 2pm
Axbridge Town Hall, Axbridge Thursday 25th October, 10am- 2pm
Hub Nub, Frome Monday 29th of October, 10am- 2pm
The Arts Centre, Wellington Tuesday 30th October , 12.30pm - 4.30pm
Ilminster Town Hall, Ilminster Wednesday 31st October, 3.30pm - 7pm
Victoria Park Community Centre, Bridgwater Tuesday 6th November, 10am- 2pm
Hen Hayes, Crewkerne Wednesday 7th November, 4pm - 7pm
The Guildhall, Chard Monday 12th November, 12.00pm - 4pm
Albermarle Centre, Taunton Wednesday 14th November, 10am- 2pm
Shape Mendip, Shepton Mallet Thursday 15th November, 10am- 2pm
Brushford Parish Hall, Dulverton Tuesday 20th November, 3.30pm – 7pm
Glastonbury Town Hall, Glastonbury Wednesday 21st November, 10am- 2pm
The Hub, Minehead Monday 26th November, 1.30pm - 5.30pm
Abbey Manor Centre, Yeovil Tuesday 27th November, 1.30pm - 5.30pm
Alternatively, if it’s difficult to make one of the above events, people can review the information at https://www.fitformyfuture.org.uk/ and feedback their thoughts via an online questionnaire: http://www.somersetconsults.org.uk/consult.ti/fitformyfuture/respondByQuestionnaire
For further questions about the ‘Fit For My Future’ programme, please email email@example.com.
Fit For My Future – Full Document: “The Case for Change”
Fit For My Future - Summary Leaflet
Fit For My Future – A list of forthcoming public Drop-in Events