Make your voice count by getting involved in 12-week public conversation on local health and care launching today (3 June)

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The views of local people on what works well, what should be improved and what is important when it comes to health and care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are the focus of a major public conversation launching today.

Over the next 12 weeks, the Together We’re Better partnership of NHS and local government organisations, working alongside Healthwatch and voluntary and community sector groups will be listening to what patients, service users, carers, health and care staff and the wider public think about local services and how they can improve.

Views are being welcomed on any aspect of health and care, but particularly on the following areas:

  • Simplifying the local urgent and emergency care system
  • Developing a new vision for health and care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent that is focussed on high quality community-based care centred on the patient – this will include maternity services, mental health services and planned care (surgery and outpatients)
  • How the local health and care system can embrace and fully utilise new technology and ensure the buildings we deliver services from are fit for purpose
  • Reviewing the use and function of the community hospitals in South Staffordshire
  • Exploring what ‘integration of health and care services’ really means for local people
  • Identifying additional priorities that will deliver clinical and financial stability.

These views will not only help in developing any future service proposals, but also inform the local Five Year Strategic Plan to be published in Autumn 2019. It will outline the local response to the priorities set down in the national NHS Long Term Plan and build on the proposals that were included in the 2016 plan.

People can get involved in the following ways:

  • survey enabling people to share their views is online on Together We’re Better’s website at twbstaffsandstoke.gov.uk; while hard copies and an easy Read version are available on request
  • Listening events are being held across the county, between 3 June and 17 July 2019 – places are limited for these events and people are asked to book their place through Together We’re Better’s website or by calling 01785 276926
  • Health and care staff listening events are also being held in Stafford (24 July), Stoke-on-Trent (26 June) and Burton-on-Trent (11 July) View the event info and booking links: Together We're Better Workforce Listening Events Updated Poster
  • Roadshows are being held across the county, between 4 June and 30 July 2019.

Further details on each of the ways people can get involved, alongside more information about the public conversation, can be found on Together We’re Better’s website at www.twbstaffsandstoke.org.uk.

Whilst local health and care partners will play a full role in the 12-week public conversation, the Clinical Commissioning Groups in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent will make any future decisions on local services.

Simon Whitehouse, Director for Together We’re Better, said: “It is an exciting time as we head out across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent to listen to the views of patients, carers, staff and the public on what works well, what should be improved and what is important when it comes to health and care locally.

“Our partners have a very clear ambition, which is to make Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent one of the healthiest places to live and work in the country. In order to make this happen we need people to have their say by attending our listening events and roadshows and completing our survey on our website. We will also be visiting a wide range of voluntary and community groups to listen and understand.

“We are not putting forward any proposals at this point. This is a Listening Exercise and we want to hear from you. Please share your thoughts, experiences and ideas as part of this important first stage in developing proposals for change. We have a genuine opportunity to get local people to share their views, but we are going to be honest about some of the very real challenges that we face locally as well.”

The views shared by participants about current challenges and how they can be met, will help the health and care partnership to develop proposals for improving how services will be delivered in the future. Any future proposals for major changes to local health and care services will, by law, have to go through a process of public consultation.