Patients across Norfolk and Waveney will get to have their say on plans to transform the region’s health and care system at a series of consultation events in the next few weeks.
The events have been organised by consumer champion, Healthwatch Norfolk, following public concerns over a lack of available information on future plans for local services under the sustainability transformation partnership (STP).
Our health and social care services face some big challenges and the partner organisations involved in the STP are tasked with developing a five-year programme of change to meet the challenges ahead.
Healthwatch’s lively debate held at Blackfriars Hall in July identified the public’s desire to know more detail about the proposals and it was agreed with health bosses that further meetings would be held as plans were drawn up.
These first events will focus on urology, cardiology and radiology services, with a separate session at each venue devoted to the future of primary care.
Meetings are being held in Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn and Norwich, at varied times, to make them as accessible as possible for everyone wishing to attend.
A host of further events are likely to follow later next year, as more information is forthcoming for other key priority areas such as maternity services and mental health.
All events are free to attend but tickets are limited so please book your place via the event calendar at www.healthwatchnorfolk.co.uk/events or by calling Healthwatch Norfolk on 01953 856029 to reserve your place.
Full details of each meeting are as follows:
22 November at Roundwood Conference Centre, Taverham
• Primary Care 3pm – 5.30pm
• Urology, Cardiology and Radiology – 6pm-8.30pm
27 November at Town Hall, King’s Lynn
• Urology, Cardiology and Radiology – 3pm-5.30pm
• Primary Care 6pm – 8.30pm
1 December at Kings Centre, Great Yarmouth –
• Primary Care – 10am-12.30pm
• Urology, Cardiology and Radiology – 1.30pm – 4pm
Each event will be chaired by former Norfolk Coroner and Healthwatch Norfolk Chair, William Armstrong, who will be joined by relevant clinicians and Antek Lejk, the executive lead for the STP.
William Armstrong, Healthwatch Norfolk Chair, said: “I made a pledge to the people of Norfolk and Waveney that further meetings would be held before the end of the year and I am delighted to see the STP partners honouring that commitment. This is a real opportunity for people to start to help shape the big decisions, and one which I hope they will take.”
Alex Stewart, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Norfolk said: “We are fully aware that there is no easy fix for the challenges facing the health and care sector and that there will undoubtedly be some difficult discussions that need to take place.
“Healthwatch Norfolk’s principal concern is enabling the public to be fully involved in that process. There has been little opportunity for public involvement until now, so these meetings represent real progress.”
Anyone can provide feedback to Healthwatch on any local health and social care service at any time by visiting www.healthwatchnorfolk.co.uk
This includes pharmacies, GPs and NHS dentists, as well as all hospital, mental health, community health, care homes and other social care services.