Worcester News Article – 11th December

As Christmas approaches and even colder weather is forecast the NHS in Worcestershire is already having to respond to demands from more patients than ever for care. Locally the NHS has drawn up a ‘winter pressures plan’ which aims to put a stop to some of the issues we saw last year such as patients being cared for in the corridors of the A&E Departments in the county. Whilst our Acute Hospitals Trust recently committed to ending care in the corridor for patients, which is to be welcomed, this is an opportunity to remind us all that we can do our part in helping the NHS to cope this winter by making the right choices in how we access health care if we need it – the NHS website NHS Choices offers advice and information to help us do that.

The 3 Clinical Commissioning Groups in the county, which are the part of the NHS that decide and pay for the majority of health care services we receive, are streamlining their back office and decision making arrangements. This includes the way in which they involve the public and patients in the decisions they make about our services. I am pleased that they have responded to my request to give us a voice and will be involving the public and patients in those changes.

Healthwatch has a statutory place on the county’s Health and Wellbeing Board; at the most recent meeting the Board discussed future services for young people with special educational needs and disabilities, and also the mental health and emotional wellbeing of young people in the county – issues that are always being raised with us.

As always we want to hear your experiences of using local health and care services and where appropriate we will signpost you to information and advice. If you would like information about Healthwatch Worcestershire, or to share your experiences about health and social care services, please visit our website or contact us at info@healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk or phone 01386 550264 .