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Local people help plan Ashford health services

User AvatarPosted by Bobbie Walkem-Smith at 27/09/2013 15:18:37

The creation of one-stop healthcare clinics, improvements to services for people with musculo-skeletal problems and more investment in dementia services should be top of NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG’s) priority list, according to local people.

That’s the conclusion following an event held by NHS Ashford CCG to find out which healthcare projects people think should be prioritised next year.

The event, which took place on 19 September, at the Julie Rose Stadium, Ashford, was attended by local patients, health professionals and representatives from voluntary organisations.

NHS Ashford CCG has responsibility for a budget of around £130 million per year to deliver healthcare services to people in the Ashford area.

Dr Navin Kumta, Chair of NHS Ashford CGG, said: “It is only right that local people have the chance to comment and influence decisions that will be made about their healthcare services. Feedback from this event will play a valuable part in helping us shape our priority projects.

“We anticipate that there will be a slight reduction in funding for next year, so it is crucial that we all work together to make sure we are spending money on the areas that matter most to the people of Ashford and surrounding areas.”

The main areas of work that the majority of people believe the CCG should focus on are:
• One-stop healthcare clinics – People thought a greater focus should be put on improving the outpatient experience through one-stop clinics at hospitals. Rather than patients attending a number of different appointments on different days, they would be seen by a specialist and, if needed, undergo tests and receive test results on the same day.
• Musculo-skeletal services – improving services for people who have muscle and bone conditions (such as arthritis, back pain and joint injuries).
• Community support – Greater emphasis on patients being treated at practices or through community services to help reduce the number of people who go to A&E.
• Dementia – Greater investment in dementia services, including the use of Admiral Nurses who are specialists in dementia nursing and support carers of people with dementia.

Martin Harvey, NHS Ashford CCG Lay Member for Patient Participation and Engagement, said: “The event was a wonderful opportunity to meet with local people and organisations. The CCG is now more than six months old and as we move forward it is important that we continue to listen to feedback and views from patients to help us create the best possible healthcare service.

“I would urge people with an interest in local health issues to join the Ashford Health Network. It’s a great way of finding out about future events and providing feedback on issues.”

For further information on this event or to find out how to become a member of the Ashford Health Network, click here.

Follow NHS Ashford CCG on Twitter, @AshfordHealth.

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