More than 1,500 people have already added their voices to the “Your Big Health Conversation” process.
The first phase of Your Big Health Conversation ends on 31 March, so anyone with a view about local NHS services is urged to join in now before it is too late.
People can tell local NHS leaders what they think about a range of major issues facing the health service – for example, which services should be open at weekends, how to ease pressure on GPs, or how to improve mental health care.
The NHS has a broad vision of how local people should be supported – with more care close to people’s homes rather than in major hospitals, a greater focus on keeping people well rather than only stepping in when someone is sick, and removing the traditional divisions between health and social care teams.
But the details of how this new era of health care should work are not known, so NHS leaders have started the ‘Big Conversation’ to hear the views of people before decisions are made.
The first phase asks big, general questions about the future of healthcare. Once this is complete there will be an assessment of what people have said, and then further work to explore some more specific issues in greater depth.
The starting point is simple – the NHS simply cannot go on working as it does now. There will not be enough money, or staff, to meet growing levels of need without some major changes to the way the local health system works. There is much that can be done to improve the care that people receive, but no change is no longer an option.
“Your Big Health Conversation” is being run by the three clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) serving Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport, and South Eastern Hampshire.
Dr Jim Hogan, the clinical leader for NHS Portsmouth CCG, said: “It is hugely encouraging that more than 1,500 people have responded so far, and we hope to see those numbers climb even higher in before the end of March.
“If you haven’t taken part yet, but you have a view about local NHS services, then we want to hear from you. It is really important to hear from people from across the whole area, with a wide range of experiences of the NHS – both good and bad – so that we can hear what matters most in this area, and what people think our priorities should be.
“We need to make some big decisions, and soon – how to cope with a growing shortage of GPs, for example, or how to make more services available during the weekends – and we need to hear from local people to help us get those big decisions right.”
All three CCGs have more information on their websites, including the link to submit views to “Your Big Health Conversation”. To find out more visit: www.farehamandgosportccg.nhs.uk/your-big-health-conversation, www.portsmouthccg.nhs.uk/your-big-health-conversation or www.southeasternhampshireccg.nhs.uk/your-big-health-conversation.
Alternatively, you can go directly to the survey asking for your views about the future of the local NHS: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/bighealthconversation.