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Public consultation on future of healthcare services in Lincolnshire to begin

By Grantham Reporter

Lincolnshire’s NHS trusts have today (Tuesday) "begun a listening exercise giving residents the chance to get involved in the transformation of the county’s health and care services".

Entitled the ‘Healthy Conversation 2019’, health bosses say it is a way for Lincolnshire’s public to share their views on NHS services and for them to be heard and considered as these services are developed for the future.

The plans include the downgrading of Grantham's A&E to an urgent treatment centre.

Other changes which will be looked at include:

* Centralising a hyper acute stroke unit in Lincoln;

* Breast care services being centralised to Lincoln or Grantham;

* The continuation of elective orthopaedic and trauma at Grantham, with emergency services under discussion;

* Maternity units at Lincoln and Boston to both get a midwife-led unit;

* Louth Hospital could also get an Urgent Treatment Centre.

Healthcare professionals said there would also be a focus on 'self-care' such as quitting smoking, improving diets, medicine cabinets in the house and using technology in a bid to limit the number of patients using health services.

An engagement event will be held at the Jubilee Church Life Centre, London Road, Grantham, on Wednesday, March 20, between 2pm and 7pm.

Senior clinicians in the county say the NHS needs to change to improve the quality of care offered to patients, to attract more healthcare staff to Lincolnshire and ensure the health service is fit to meet the needs of the population long term.

They have called on patients, the public, their representatives, our partners and staff to get involved with ‘Healthy Conversation 2019’ to help make these changes together.

Dr Sunil Hindocha, GP and clinical accountable officer for NHS Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Healthy Conversation 2019 is a discussion about what – and how – we need to change to ensure that our health service is fit for the future.

“We all want an NHS that helps us to look after ourselves and offering a service to be proud of that provides safety, compassion and accessibility every single day.

“There is lots we are proud of, but know there are areas where we need to change.

“We want to hear from patients, the public, their representatives, our partners and staff so that they can help to shape future plans.

“We want to explain the need for change and the challenges we all face.”

The consultation will cover a number of different areas of health and care, including sharing information and updates with the public about:

· Looking after ourselves and each other – getting this right is the best way to be healthy and reduce the strain on the NHS. You might hear this referred to as ‘prevention’ and ‘self-care’

· Joined up care close to home – services delivered in the community or your own home

· Mental health and learning disabilities – one quarter of us will be affected by mental health at some point in our lifetime so getting these services right is paramount

· Hospital services – this year we will be talking with you about these services and the emerging options for their future sustainability

· Enabling factors – this is how we refer to such things as travel and transport, IT and digital opportunities, recruitment and estates and buildings – not the services themselves, but big influencers on our ability to deliver them well

· The national NHS Long Term Plan – and how we can make this work best for Lincolnshire

Dr Yvonne Owen, GP and medical director of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, added: “This is a conversation between the NHS and you, the Lincolnshire public, about what is important to you, what feedback and experiences you want to share and above all, how you would like to see our health service continue to improve.

“We will be open about the challenges our NHS faces – such as quality, recruitment and money, and what we can and can’t do.

“We will share our thinking as early as possible and be clear about the reasons for it. We will consider all of your feedback and report back on what we did or why we couldn’t act upon it.”

Local NHS trusts said there will be a number of ways for people to get involved, including further public events, an online survey and sharing on social media and through GPs and hospital sites.

Public engagement will continue until autumn, at which point further consultation will take place.

For more information, visit www.lincolnshire.nhs.uk


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