"Your Big Health Conversation": Phase One
In the next few years the local NHS must change.
Our local health system faces multiple pressures – rising need for care, rising costs of treatments, fewer staff in key roles, and funding levels which will not keep pace with demand. At the same time there are new opportunities offered by better medicines, new technology, and closer relationships between NHS and social care teams.
In that context, NHS services simply cannot, and will not, remain as they are.
The NHS across the local area – Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport, and South Eastern Hampshire – must improve the health and wellbeing of people living here, make services more effective, while keeping finances in balance.
Many of these changes are simply the right thing to do – they will improve care, and make life better and easier for patients and their carers. But change is also essential because demand is growing faster than funding, and some key groups are in short supply.
The extent of the challenge has recently been set out in the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Sustainability and Transformation Plan. This document also sets out how the NHS in parts of the county is already considering how to make the necessary changes – locally, that means initiatives like Health and Care Portsmouth, and Better Local Care in the south east area of Hampshire.
The overall objectives are clear – stronger community-based services, more ‘seamless’ support, greater use of technology to benefit patients – but the details are not finalised.
So we want to hear your views about how health services could and should change, and those views will influence the decisions the local NHS must make.
Now, our questions to you are about the ‘big picture’, but in time they will become more specific – looking at how particular services could work, for example.
So, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the local NHS? How can access to GPs be improved? Which services should be available at weekends? Is it OK to create centres of excellence, if that increases travel times?
Some of the background to the questions being posed is set out in the links below: