View from Westminster 17th February 2017

Across Herefordshire and Worcestershire, health and care organisations are committed to providing safe and effective services. We have a growing population and rising demands on services, and so have to make sure we use resources effectively. In November 2016 the initial draft of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) was submitted to NHS England, with a vision to provide more care closer to home, prioritise prevention and empower citizens with the tools and information to manage their own care. NHS commissioners and providers have come together to decide how to improve services and realise this vision.  This initial plan has been developed with partners across the health and care system in the two counties, and its publication means that patients and communities can now join the conversation and share their thoughts. The STP will not be formally approved by the local Clinical Commissioning Group until the STP group have held consultations and meetings to discuss the information, in public, over the coming few weeks.

Primary Care and GP services, Public Health, charities, community services, as well as patients and the public are all involved in shaping the STP. It is essential that the views of local people are taken into account to help put details into the plans, and the STP is currently seeking feedback on local NHS services and draft STP plans, which are available to read online. You can complete the survey on the STP website at www.hacw.nhs.uk/yourconversation now, or attend a drop-in sessions to talk about the ideas.

As MP for Wyre Forest, I receive a lot of correspondence each week about the local NHS, and endeavour to communicate any concerns to the Worcestershire NHS Trust. Now, local people have the chance to have their say on the services that affect them. The STP survey and events discuss a wide range of topics: self-care and preventative measures, community care offerings, the future of our acute hospitals and urgent care system, GP and nurse access, transportation services, technology introduction and more. I urge Wyre Forest residents to use this opportunity to take part and share your views. This is a change led by the people who use and work in our health services, and understand the local area. I am pleased that the STP is engaging with the community, and a full public consultation will take place before any changes are made.