It’s not too late to have input into the future of local health services

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Health commissioners in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are asking residents to contribute to the future of health services in the area.

Altogether, the six Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) commission over 800 different services and treatments, but availability of these varies across the area.

Together they have been spending around £2 million more per week than they receive, and that means some difficult decisions now need to be made.

Dr Lorna Clarson, a GP and Clinical Director for Partnerships and Engagement, said: “We want the treatments that we commission for our patients to be those that clinical research shows are most effective.  We also want to end the postcode lottery that currently exists and offer the same services to patients regardless of where they live within Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

“But prioritising some treatments will mean that others may only be made available if certain criteria are met, and that some procedures will not be routinely available to all patients. We are now seeking views on some of the treatments that are already restricted or not routinely available across different parts of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.”

The five areas in question are:

  • Assisted conception
  • Hearing loss in adults
  • Removal of excess skin following significant weight loss
  • Breast augmentation and reconstruction
  • Male and female sterilisation.

The CCGs are now halfway through their engagement exercise, but there’s still time to share your experiences of the above services. Members of the public are being asked to complete a survey so commissioners can understand the real impact these treatments or services have on people’s lives. They will then consider the feedback before deciding how they should be provided across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent in the future.

The survey can be found at www.bit.ly/Difficult_Decisions or call 01785 854482 to request a paper version.

An Easy Read version of the information paper, explaining the background to the services, has also been produced to convey the information in a simpler and more concise way, it can be downloaded at: https://www.staffordsurroundsccg.nhs.uk/news-events/publications/consultation-documents/information-papers-and-posters/1281-difficult-decisions-easy-read

Alternatively, visit the CCGs’ websites: