On 10th September councils across the South East Midlands are meeting to review health services in the area.
Bedford Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, Luton Borough Council, Milton Keynes Council and Northamptonshire County Council have established a Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee to review the NHS Healthier Together programme. It will meet at Northamptonshire County Council, in its Council Chamber at County Hall, as it continues to review health services across the South East Midlands.
The meeting will focus on two main topics. First, the Committee will consider work done by the Healthier Together team on travel and transport issues that may arise from the emerging options on the delivery of acute health services in the South East Midlands area. Second, the Committee will receive more details about the latest developments in the clinical models of care and the strategic models of care that have been developed over the summer. The Committee will also receive an update about the progress of the consultation plan. The meeting is open to the public and residents are invited to attend the meeting to learn more about the proposals and to provide their views.
Over the last few months the Committee has scrutinised the Healthier Together programme’s public engagement plans and the Committee’s recommendations have led to new ways of gathering the public’s views about what Healthier Together is proposing for local health services.
Clinicians and patient representatives have been engaging with patients, and the public, to find out their views ahead of a public consultation later this year.
The Healthier Together vision is to move as many tests, treatments and appointments as possible out of hospital and into local settings reducing the need for people to travel to hospital and to consider how best to combine expertise and improve patient outcomes by creating centres of excellence.
People should find they can access a wider range of health services closer to home, however they may need to travel further for some more specialist or ‘one-off’ procedures.
Cllr John Mingay, Chair of the Committee, said: “The Committee knows that travel and transport are important issues for patients and the public, and Councillors are keen to hear more about the work done by the Healthier Together team on this. We will have the opportunity to raise any concerns we have as a committee and make recommendations about the proposals to the Healthier Together Programme Board.”
Once Healthier Together has completed the public consultation, the Committee will be in a position to make its recommendations and will be considered by the NHS when final decisions are made in spring 2013.
All meetings will be held in public, and the committees papers can be found via the Council website at www.bedford.gov.uk
More information about Healthier Together can be found at http://healthiertogether.northamptonshire.nhs.uk/