Governing bodies give approval for public consultation on future of local health services

North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCGs’ Governing Bodies meeting in common yesterday agreed to begin public consultation into the future of community based local health services.

The CCGs met yesterday to consider The Future of Local Health Services in Northern Staffordshire – Pre-Consultation Business Case (PCBC).

After detailed consideration of the information put before them they backed the decision to go forward to involve local people in informing their decisions about the options put forward.

This means public consultation will begin on Monday December 10. It will last for a total of 14 weeks which includes a two week extension to allow for the festive holidays. The consultation will end on Sunday March 17.

The meeting was held in public at the Bet365 Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, with over 100 people in attendance.

The CCGs have been working with local clinicians, health partners, local authorities, voluntary organisations, politicians and the public to look at how local health services could be delivered differently to meet local needs against the backdrop of significant challenges.

Over the last few years, the CCGs have been involving local people in developing the options for change which have been through a rigorous assurance process and incorporates the recommendations made by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel.

The CCGs developed the Pre-Consultation Business Case (PCBC) that sets out what they believe to be a viable and sustainable model of care for the people of Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire, and the options for change which they wish to test and consult upon. Over 500 people have taken part in the pre-consultation phase.

The CCGs’ Accountable Officer, Marcus Warnes said: “Deciding to move to formal consultation is a significant decision. This is an important step toward delivering the right services in the right place which place patients at the centre of service delivery.”

Dr Steve Fawcett, the CCGs’ Medical Director said: “Local clinicians have absolutely been at the heart of developing the business case. We now want as many people as possible to take part in the public consultation which will be a full, open and honest dialogue with the patients we serve.”

At the meeting members of the Governing Bodies answered questions from the public which included concerns about the workforce who provide community based care;  hospital readmission rates; safeguarding of elderly patients; openness of the consultation; use of NHS beds in care homes; the needs of rural communities and the level of support that could be provided at home; how the options had been scored to determine preferred options and the impact of  social transport cuts.

To access papers from the meeting please go to the Stoke-on-Trent CCG and North Staffordshire CCG websites.

More details of the consultation will be made available soon.