People in west Essex are being asked for their views on a proposal designed to make best use of the money available to the local NHS, while helping as many people as possible to live healthier, longer lives and avoid preventable illnesses.
This proposal is being put forward by West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (WECCG) and comes as the CCG faces a number of challenges. The number of people who need health service support is increasing and many people are living longer, often with complex conditions. A limited budget, care that is expensive and national and local shortages of NHS staff mean that we have to make sure that doctors’, nurses’ and other specialists’ time is used wisely.
The proposal is about:
Limiting the routine prescription of medicines and products that can be bought without prescription for short-term conditions and minor ailments.
Dr Rob Gerlis, Chair of West Essex CCG said,
“Wherever possible we are looking to make savings that won’t affect the quality of patient care. We are working more closely with our partners in the local health and social care system to avoid duplication and reduce administration costs; laying plans to make more efficient use of technology and buildings and working with those organisations that directly provide services to deliver best value for money.”
The CCG has been working with the two Hertfordshire CCGs – East and North Hertfordshire CCG and Herts Valley CCG - as part of a Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) . There are 44 STPs covering all of England, where local NHS and social care organisations have drawn up proposals to improve health and care in the areas they serve. These new partnerships will plan services jointly and are built around the needs of the local population across whole areas, not just those of the individual organisations involved.
Dr Christine Moss, Clinical Director of West Essex CCG
“We are not acting in isolation; the proposals we are seeking views on are also being put forward in Hertfordshire. While the proposals will, over time, save money they are also designed to encourage patients to look at freeing up GP appointment time by using the expertise of community pharmacists who can advise on minor illnesses.”
“We have to be realistic about what we can afford. In view of this, we will aim to get as wide a range of views. We will be holding public events; speaking to people across west Essex; attending community and local health and social care meetings; taking opinion online and communicating with people via social media.”
A consultation document has been produced which give more detailed information on the proposal, why we are considering them, and a survey asking you what you think. The survey will be open from 7 July and will close on 14 September. To give your views, visit the Essex Insight website.