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Our Local Health Service - there are yet more changes on the way

posted 21 Mar 2011, 09:49 by Unknown user   [ updated 22 Mar 2011, 03:41 by Unknown user ]
Significant changes to the way that health services are to be provided locally are being planned. The Government  states that it is committed to putting patients and public at the very heart of The Health Service, but that is not always how it feels.

We need to try and keep up-to-date with the proposed changes.

On Tuesday 15th March between 1– 4 pm there was a Conversation Café held at the Stanborough Centre  in Watford. It was arranged by NHS Hertfordshire, CVS in 3 Rivers and WatCom Practice Based Commissioning Group and supported by NAVCA and Herts LINk. The event was very well attended by interested individuals and representatives from many local organisations.

Lunch was provided at the start followed by a full agenda of speakers and discussion groups that was well managed by Independent Facilitator, David Moses.

Zillah Turner, Chief Operating Officer of WatCom, set the scene by describing the shift that will take place when GP Consortia take over responsibility from the PCT’s for commissioning health services.

Our very own Joint Chair Henry Goldberg, Chair of Herts LINk, described the recommended changes for LINk organisations. Herts LINk will become Health Watch Hertfordshire and will feed into an umbrella organisation, Health Watch England. They are being asked to provide a new service – advice to patients on their choices and options for health and social care. The public are encouraged to join LINk (Health Watch) to influence policy and practice.

Table discussions followed on the challenges and opportunities presented by the formation of the new GP Consortia.

Peter Wright, Public Health Partnership Manager, NHS Hertfordshire – explained some of the White Paper: Healthy Lives, Healthy People.  Health Promotion having priority.

Neil Dixon, Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) Development Manager, Herts County Council and NHS Herts – explained the importance of identifying needs within areas so that money can be allocated and services provided appropriately.  (Telling the story of our people, our places, our communities) All commissioning bodies need to have consulted the JSNA when planning services for both adults and children.

Further table discussions followed on the personal relevance of the JSNA and potential opportunities for joint working. Also how inequalities can be reduced by working together - a key priority for Public Health in Watford and Three Rivers.

David Moses (Facilitator) extracted brief summaries of the table discussions. The participants were asked what has been most interesting for them, what they intend to do next and what they would like to see happen next.

The main points from the discussions will be collated by him, circulated to attendees and used by the participating organisations.   

Jacky Khara attended this meeting on behalf of the Residents' Assocation. If you have any comments or views about local heathcare provision contact us at

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