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 NorfolkSTP 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

Yesterday, 17:03

A Swaffham man has been handed a two-year criminal behaviour order for persistent anti-social behaviour offences.

Yesterday, 15:56

A Norfolk natural park is hoping to educate its visitors about the importance of wetland habitats by launching a new discovery area.

Yesterday, 15:35

Three fire crews were required to put out a large crop fire in Dunton, near Fakenham, this afternoon.

Yesterday, 13:41

TripAdvisor rentals site Holiday Lettings has named the market town one of the UK’s top rated ‘hidden gem’ destinations for summer holidays. Jessica Frank-Keyes rounds up just ten of the things you can get up while visiting the area...

Most Read

Yesterday, 15:35

Three fire crews were required to put out a large crop fire in Dunton, near Fakenham, this afternoon.

Read more
Thursday, April 26, 2018

A new fuel station has been welcomed by the residents of a coastal town.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:03

A Swaffham man has been handed a two-year criminal behaviour order for persistent anti-social behaviour offences.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00

Norfolk Day has gripped the county and businesses, big and small, are getting behind the major celebration. Reporter Sophie Wyllie reports on the variety of events being put on across the county and why businesses are backing the big day.

Read more
BBC

A film crew shooting scenes for a star-studded costume drama came to the rescue, after more than 20 acres of cornfields were destroyed by a series of fires which broke out along the Weybourne Road railway embankment towards Sheringham.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 24°C

min temp: 15°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Fakenham and Wells Times weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy