Patients and users of the NHS are being invited to have their say on the future of health services in Horsham over the next few months.
The Horsham and Mid Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group, along with Crawley’s CCG, is unveiling initial proposals for GP services and community and primary care, but not acute care, in the area.
The CCGs will hold three public meetings for the launch of the ‘Five Communities Plan’ (covering Crawley, Horsham, Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath and East Grinstead), the last of which will be at Horsham’s Drill Hall in Denne Road on Thursday July 31 from 5.30-9pm.
This week the County Times is backing the launch of the campaign to let residents ‘Have your say on future of NHS care’ and is encouraging readers to write letters to the paper expressing their views, and attend the public meetings.
Minesh Patel, lead GP for NHS Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG, said: “The NHS must change.
“We want to improve the quality and safety of care and learn the lessons from the Francis Report to improve services.
“To do this with a flat level of funding and tightening budgets we must change the way we deliver and use NHS care.
“If we really want to keep our NHS for future generations let’s act now, together.”
At the public meeting members of the public will get a chance to question GPs and health managers on initial plans.
One example of the actions within the Five Communities Plan is the NHS working closely with GP surgeries and Horsham District Council to explore the possibility of new primary care facilities with joined up health and wellbeing services within the new development at Broadbridge Heath.
According to the CCG this would be likely to begin within a year, while other larger-scale projects in the plan could take up to five years of detailed planning before they can be initiated.
Currently 54 per cent of Horsham and Mid Sussex’s NHS budget is spent on caring for people after they fall ill or their health worsens.
The Five Communities Plan looks at investing in more community based care to prevent patients from getting sicker, supporting them to stay healthy and manage their health through self-care, and letting them remain independent in their own homes when possible.
Some of the plan’s goals include modernising services to meet changes in communities, continuing to use new and different providers to ensure they get the best services, being open and realistic about the financial challenges the NHS faces, using all available appropriate buildings and discarding the ones they do not need, and addressing overdue maintenance needs of NHS buildings.