Worcester News Article – 24th July 2017

On Wednesday 12th July 2017 Healthwatch Worcestershire attended the Future of Acute Hospital Services Meeting in Bromsgrove which agreed the new Delivery Model for the Worcestershire Acute Trust which was unanimously agreed by all three Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Healthwatch has been pleased to be involved as an “observer and critical friend” at every stage of the Acute Services Review, our presence at many of these meetings over the years has been an important part of the engagement process. Our independence has always been acknowledged and patient, carers and service user views have constantly been raised by us at these meetings.

Our principal concern is, and as always been that the residents of the Worcestershire have safe and accessible health services and to hold the NHS to account for the provision of those services and we will continue to do this.  Moving forward Healthwatch Worcestershire would make the following points:

  • The issue of accessibility of services still needs resolving – transport is part of this but by no means the entire solution;
  • Healthwatch Worcestershire looks forward to confirmation that the capital bid to develop the hospital sites and create the necessary capacity to implement the Review will be approved by the Department of Health as soon as possible
  •  Actions must be consistent with the strategy for example if services are to be delivered closer to home then closing the Ophthalmology Department in Evesham does not fit with the strategy. Healthwatch Worcestershire raised this specific issue with the Clinical Commissioning Group who stated they intended to reinstate the service.
  • The next stage must involve and engage users and carers and their representatives in a meaningful way;
  •  And all Providers and Commissioners of Services across health and Social care must work together with the Sustainability and Transformation Plan framework used as the basis of that relationship.

Healthwatch Worcestershire will continue to observe and comment on each phase of the new model implementation process.