Local NHS calls for debate on future services
Local clinical commissioning groups and provider Trusts in south west London have today jointly published an Issues Paper, setting out the challenges faced by the local health service, some of the emerging ideas to tackle them and some questions for local people to respond to.
The paper is published for discussion and to set out clearly the matters that local clinicians and managers are grappling with, in an attempt to promote a dialogue across south west London about how the local NHS should work in future. All six south west London clinical commissioning groups and all local acute, community and mental health trusts have signed up to the paper, which is also supported by NHS England.
Dr Chris Elliott, Sutton GP and Senior Responsible Officer for the South West London Collaborative Commissioning* programme, said:
"The challenges set out in the Issues Paper are matters we have been raising for several years. The case for change is much the same as that outlined in the past but the problems it causes are getting worse. The challenges of rising demand, an ageing population and more people needing care have not gone away. Nor has the large variation in the quality of care, depending on where and when you access services. We know we need to change the way we deliver services to give local people the care they need.
"The financial case for change is also broadly the same – without changing how the money is spent, in five years' time we will not have enough money to pay even for the services we deliver today. The NHS workforce challenge is also well known: we do not have enough GPs, district nurses, community nurses, midwives or specialist children's doctors; there are not enough senior doctors in south west London to make sure we meet the London Quality Standards in all our hospitals.
"What has changed, though, is that the national NHS Five Year Forward View sets out new ways of delivering healthcare. It advocates changing the way in which services are delivered and funded, so that more care can be delivered in the community, by GPs, nurses, pharmacists, midwives, therapists and other health professionals. New ways of organising services around the patient are suggested, making the long term NHS goal of most care being delivered in community settings far more attainable. This dovetails perfectly with what we would like to achieve in south west London.
"We want local people and stakeholders to get involved in the discussion about the future of the NHS. There is a broad consensus within the local NHS that things need to change – and we know that we cannot go on as we are. But we want to have an open and honest dialogue with you about what the changes might look like, how we can build on what works now and what ideas or concerns you have.
"This is not a public consultation - there are currently no plans to make the kind of major changes that require public consultation. If we do develop such proposals, we would certainly consult on them. But whether or not a consultation is eventually needed, we want to start a new conversation now, because things have changed. We know we can work with local people to deliver better health services in south west London."
How can people get involved?
There are two versions of the Issues Paper – the full version and the shorter summary. Local CCGs and Trusts recommend that people read both share their views on the questions raised. We would encourage both individual and organisations to respond.
- Use the contact details in our Issues Paper to respond to the questions it raises on our website or in writing.
- If you hold meetings, invite us along to discuss these issues in person.
- If you have staff or networks, send them our Issues Paper and encourage them to respond.
- If you have a website or social media account, draw attention the debate.
Read the full Issues Paper here.
*South West London Collaborative Commissioning (SWLCC) is a partnership of six CCGs (Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth) and NHS England. The Issues Paper is published by SWLCC and the following organisations: Croydon University Hospitals Trust, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust, Kingston NHS Foundation Trust, St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, South West London & St George's Mental Health NHS Trust, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare Trust, Your Healthcare CIC.