Local people help to develop solutions to shape the future of local health services

Local patients and partners yesterday (14 February) worked with North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to co-develop solutions for the future of local health services. The session was independently facilitated by the Consultation Institute to make sure that it complied with the legal processes with respect to consultation.

Dr Lorna Clarson, Clinical Director for Partnerships and Engagement for the CCGs, said: “This is a much broader picture than just the community hospital buildings and beds, it is about making sure the right services are in the right place at the right time, whether that be in hospital locations, GP practices or other health service providers.”

Between October and December 2017, the CCGs carried out listening events with local people, councillors and the voluntary sector as well as a public survey to gather people’s views. This feedback was independently analysed and along with information about the services currently provided by community hospitals and analysis of local health needs, it was used in building plans to present to people across North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

On 14 February, an Options Appraisal event was held where representatives from provider organisations, local councils, general practice and the voluntary sector, as well as patient representatives worked to consider different scenarios for each of the five community hospitals - Bradwell, Cheadle, Haywood, Longton Cottage and Leek Moorlands. The services they considered included community beds, urgent treatment centres, diagnostics such as x-ray and ultra sound and dementia services.

Dr Clarson added: “Yesterday’s event was about listening to people’s views about the choices they would make and their priorities. We really learned from the discussion and it is clear that there are different needs in each area. The CCGs are keen to develop the best solution for each community and we cannot do this without involving local people.”

Ian Syme, North Staffordshire Healthwatch campaigner, said: “This was an open and honest discussion between the community and health professionals. We are all interested in improving the quality of health care. I feel really positive about this as there has been a willingness by the CCGs to take on board what the community is saying. There is a high sense of ownership but I would still be concerned if any services were to be deleted as a result."

The work will be used to inform the Pre-Consultation Business Case which will be submitted to NHS England for their assurance process, before going to formal consultation later this year. 

To keep updated on the latest progress visit the CCG's website: