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Your Big Health Conversation

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** UPDATE 31/03/2017 **


Phase One of 'Your Big Health Conversation' has now closed - information about the feedback we have received, and the next steps, will be published shortly


In the next few years the local NHS must change.

The health system in this area faces a combination of 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 exactly as they are today.

Please read on, and tell us your views about future changes by clicking here: “Your Big Health Conversation – talk to us” (Link now closed)

The NHS across the local area – Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport, and South Eastern Hampshire – must find new ways to 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, and will improve care, improve people’s health, and make life easier for patients and their carers. But change is also essential because of the basic fact that demand is growing faster than funding, and some key groups of frontline staff are increasingly hard to recruit.

The extent of the challenge has recently been set out in the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Sustainability and Transformation Plan. This document shows how much funding the county’s NHS will receive over the next five years, and projects how much funding the health system will need if changes are not made. The estimated shortfall was £577m.

The document also sets out how the NHS in parts of the county is already considering how to make changes to improve services, and to make them affordable in the long term – locally, through initiatives like Health and Care Portsmouth, and Better Local Care in the south east area of Hampshire. It also explains how NHS organisations will need to work together to solve problems which are too big to be tackled locally, such as developing shared IT systems, or improving specialist mental health care.

Our 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 now is the right time for us to hear your views about how health services could and should change. Your views can influence the way that the local NHS will aim to make changes as we seek to meet the challenges and opportunities set out in the STP.

In time, the questions we ask may become more specific – looking at how a particular service may work, or where it may be based. If that is the case, then specific arrangements will be made to ensure that everyone has a chance to contribute.

But first we want to hear your views about the bigger picture. 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:

  • Pressure on services: how is the local NHS treating patients now, compared to the past?

  • Opportunities: how can the NHS improve the way it cares for patients, both improving services and becoming more efficient – what do we already know about the future, and what don’t we know?

  • The local population: how is the demand for services changing, now and in future?

  • Staffing: what is the situation now, and what do we expect in the future?

  • Money: how are we coping, and what will happen next?

  • Sustainability and Transformation Plans: the Hampshire “STP” – what it is, and what it isn’t