With growing pressure on the NHS – people living longer, more people living with long-term conditions, lifestyle choices affecting people’s health – changes are needed to make sure everybody gets the support they need.
The Government is investing an extra £20bn a year in the NHS. The NHS has produced a Long Term Plan, setting out all the things it wants health services to do better for people across the country. This includes: making it easier for people to access support closer to home and via technology, doing more to help people stay well, and providing better support for people with long-term health conditions.
But whilst the national plan has set some clear goals, it’s up to local areas to decide how they’re achieved. Now it’s time for people to have their say and help shape what the delivery of the plan should look like in their communities.
Have your say
We’re running two online surveys to gather people’s views. Fill it in to tell your local NHS:
What would you do to give people more control of their care?
Tell us what your local NHS can do to help your community stay well and to make local services better.
- What would you do to give people better support?
Tell us about your experiences of support for cancer, mental health conditions, heart and lung diseases, long-term conditions such as diabetes and arthritis, learning disabilities, autism, and dementia, and what could make care better.
We know that people want to have a say about how services are run. Research conducted by Populus for Healthwatch England found that only 1 in 8 people think senior doctors, nurses and other care professionals should make these decisions alone.
From today, our network of 152 Healthwatch organisations engaging people across England to help inform local implementation of the NHS Long Term Plan. Between March and May, Healthwatch events, focus groups and surveys will give tens of thousands of people the opportunity to help local hospitals, GP surgeries and community services hear about the changes people would like to see.
We’ve appointed 44 Healthwatch to coordinate this feedback gathering exercise around England. They’ll work with local health leaders to make sure that people’s views inform development of local plans, which are expected to be in place by June.
This work is being grant funded by NHS England and NHS Improvement. As part of the grant agreement, local NHS groups will be asked to respond to what we find, and to set out how they have used the feedback gathered from their communities to inform changes to local services.
Imelda Redmond, National Director of Healthwatch England said:
“Both the Long Term Plan itself and the supporting investment being made in the NHS are very welcome, particularly given the pressures placed on the service in recent years.
“It was also positive to see so many of the issues raised by Healthwatch up and down the country being addressed in the plan, with resources being reallocated to support this shift in focus.
“However, we are all still very much at the start of this journey. Now is the time for local NHS leaders to get together with their communities and figure out how we can all work together to achieve the ambitions set out in the national plan.
“Over time we want to build on this, creating a culture where engaging with communities in this way becomes a continual process to not just inform plans but also shine a light on how services are performing against that plan.
“We aim for this programme to create a new sort of relationship between the NHS and those it cares for. A relationship that can help all us to lead longer and healthier lives.”