One theme for tonight’s DriveTime – the St Albans NHS Hustings on May 25th. For details go to http://www.sapg.org.uk/home-page And five key issues:-
· Ensuring Sustainable Funding
· Improving how Care is provided
· Giving priority to Population Health
· Working with People & Communities
· Supporting NHS and Social Care Workforce
NHS Hustings is a Question Style format at which each of the candidates will respond to points raised by the audience; all DriveTime Listeners are invited. So what issues are you likely to raise?
2. Sustainable Funding
Locally we have a Commissioning Group and a Hospital Trust that has acute financial problems. There are two critical aspects:-
· Making cuts that are already having a real an impact on patient experience – e.g. the closure of respite beds at the City Hospital and the withdrawal of the winter pressures allowance for GP Surgeries.
· There are better ways to deliver services; but there’s no money to “pump prime” to enable the changes to be made.
3. Improving how care is provided
Three big changes are required:-
· Fix the situation at our hospitals
· Provide care closer to home
· Integrate Health and Social Care
Making these changes improves the patient experience and saves NHS money!
4. Priority to Population Health
The more you do to keep people well the more you reduce the pressure on the health service; this means acting on the wider determinants of people’s health and wellbeing including
· air quality,
· diet and nutrition, and
· opportunities to take exercise and keep fit
We need local and national initiatives to make this happen.
5. People & Communities
Our NHS locally needs to draw on the power of people and communities in rising to the challenges that lie ahead. There are four key points here
· Integrating voluntary organisations into the system
· Helping people to play a more active part in their own health and care
· Supporting families and carers and
· Fully engaging the public in improving population health as advocated in the Wanless Report.
6. Supporting the NHS Workforce
There are three critical issues here:-
· A growing short-fall in the number of qualified staff in the NHS
· Operational pressures leading to low morale and early retirement
· The impact of BREXIT on EU Nationals working in the NHS
7. Lots of issues to cover; come along on May 25th – Age Concern Hall, Hall Place Gardens 7:00 – 9:00 pm