Search

‘Cutting and privatising’ concern over plan to overhaul region’s health service and make £300m in savings

Healthwatch Norfolk chairman William Armstrong. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Healthwatch Norfolk chairman William Armstrong. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

NHS patients and staff from across Norfolk and Waveney have been sharing their views on plans to transform the region’s health system at a series of events organised by the county’s health watchdog.

STP consultation event at King's Lynn Town Hall. Photo: Healthwatch Norfolk STP consultation event at King's Lynn Town Hall. Photo: Healthwatch Norfolk

The meetings were set up by Healthwatch in response to public concerns over a lack of available information on future plans for local services under the sustainability transformation partnership (STP) - a collective of NHS and public sector partners tasked with meeting the challenges facing the future delivery of our health and social care.

Separate sessions held in King’s Lynn, Norwich and Great Yarmouth focused on the future shape of local GP services and also discussed the delivery of key hospital specialisms in urology, cardiology and radiology.

MORE: What is the STP?



The vision put forward for GP services included better care co-ordination, new community based specialist support, practices working together to share skills, expertise and resource, and widening practice teams to include a broader range of health professionals - all designed to free up GP’s time to focus on people with the most difficult problems.

While some attendees remained frustrated at the lack of detail, health bosses maintained they were still in the early stages of developing plans and a host of further consultations will follow.

MORE: Healthcare overhaul process for Norfolk and Waveney was secretive admits health chief



The Healthwatch events were intended to gain public perspective on the initial concepts, as well as understand what is working well and what could be improved.

Healthwatch Norfolk chairman, William Armstrong, led the discussions at all six events said: “It comes as no surprise that people really value the NHS and its staff.

“Some people are sceptical about the STP and have concerns it’s about cutting and privatising services. There clearly needs to be more engagement across the board and with the workforce in particular, but it was wonderful to see staff who are clearly very passionate about their patients’ care turn out in force.

MORE: Soup in the village hall - How health chiefs hope volunteers can help save Norfolk and Waveney’s NHS



“GP access for routine appointments is a key issue and people would like to see opening hours extended or appointments offered in different ways. If this is something that matters to you then please make sure you complete the NHS survey running until 15 December

“I think people understand the concept of GP practices working more closely together and this is already happening in some areas, but there are mixed views about extending the range of professionals working within them.

“Patients are already familiar with going to different hospitals for routine or specialist care, but given the geography of Norfolk there are real concerns around travel times and transport links.

MORE: More details revealed on ambitious healthcare plan for the region



“I think those who attended the meetings appreciated the opportunity to be involved. It’s now down to the STP executive board to show they’ve been listened to and keep people updated as plans develop.

“We will strive to ensure this happens and encourage more people to get involved every step of the way, but the proposed cuts to our own funding will inevitably reduce the level of support we are able to provide.

“Mental health services remain a key concern for many patients and their families. We still await details of any plans in this area, but we do know that events focused around maternity services will be planned early in the New Year, so do look out for those.”

The presentations and a summary of the points raised at the meetings are available on the Healthwatch Norfolk website.

Other News

Romance is in the air at the Market Gates Shopping Centre, Great Yarmouth when shoppers take part in a Get Hooked Up Valentine’s competition.

13:09

Police received more than one thousand calls after strong winds caused large scale disruption across Norfolk.

Our borough is being battered by the high winds this morning with schools closing, trees falling onto roads and trains being cancelled.

Britain’s offshore wind capacity could increase five-fold by the 2030s, cutting carbon emissions and saving on consumer bills, analysis suggests – with the Norfolk and Suffolk coast in a strong position to benefit.

Most Read

Tue, 20:26

A care home in Great Yarmouth has been forced to close after watchdogs uncovered a catalogue of concerns.

Read more
Care Quality Commission
Mon, 15:48

A teacher is feeling a new woman and enjoying time with her children after she lost more than four stone in 26 weeks.

Read more
Tue, 10:50

A woman has been arrested on the suspicion of drug-driving and possession of a class A drug after the car she was believed to be driving crashed into a home in Gorleston.

Read more
Mon, 11:11

A decision to close a Great Yarmouth bridge due to reports that a child may have gone into a river has been criticized by a councillor.

Read more
Mick Castle
Mon, 16:15

Major roadworks at one of the main gateways into Great Yarmouth are due to end next week after four months of traffic disruption.

Read more
Norfolk County Council

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 1°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter