Public to be consulted over Hampshire £500m healthcare savings plan

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THE public will get to have their say over plans to roll out a major shake-up of healthcare in Hampshire that could slash costs by more than £500m.

Health partners have agreed to consult over the latest Sustainability and Transformation Plan – a strategy looking at healthcare across the county and how the NHS can save money while meeting the needs of patients.

Moving to a more cooperative and integrated model of health and care is in the interests of the residents of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. It is however vital that residents have an opportunity to comment and that views are taken into account.

Tory public health boss, Councillor Luke Stubbs

STPs are NHS-led schemes designed to manage specialist services across wider areas, move greater resources into communities, make better use of new technology and to provide some back office services ‘at scale’.

At a meeting of a Health and Wellbeing Board yesterday over the proposals, Portsmouth Tory public health boss, Councillor Luke Stubbs, led calls for consultation to be co-ordinated by Healthwatch.

He said: ‘The STP is a big-picture document that if implemented in full, will profoundly change the way the NHS works.

‘Moving to a more co-operative and integrated model of health and care is in the interests of the residents of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. It is vital that residents have an opportunity to comment and that views are taken into account.’

Cllr Stubbs said NHS England had set ‘demanding timetables’ for CCGs to draw up plans – and while they have always said that individual service changes would be consulted on, there had been no plans to consult ‘on the STP as a whole’.

Reasons put forward by the NHS for the plan are:

n Demand for health and care is growing at an unsustainable rate; people are living longer and increasing numbers are living with multiple chronic physical and mental health conditions.

n Too many people are admitted to hospital and stay longer than they need to; the longer people stay in hospital, the more likely they are to develop complications and reduced independence.

n Hospital beds are expensive and, without action, significantly more beds will be needed in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight by 2020/21.

n Too many patients with mental health problems are being cared for outside this area and people in mental health crisis often don’t get the high-quality co-ordinated care they need.

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