Between October 2016 and January 2017, the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group undertook a consultation entitled ‘Your Future Care’. Acting as an independent observer, Healthwatch Devon has produced a report reflecting on the process.
The ‘Your Future Care’ consultation set out proposals to provide more care in people’s homes and reduce hospital admissions – particularly for the frail and elderly. The proposals would reduce the need for hospital beds in community hospitals in the Eastern locality. The public consultation was to consider where the remaining beds should be located.
The consultation involved a series of public meetings encouraging members of the public to have their say. Healthwatch Devon actively promoted the meetings, and attended 14 of them to hear people’s views.
What did we observe?
On the whole, NEW Devon CCG consultation was broadly in line with NHS England Guidance. However we do have some suggestions for areas of improvement.
Our recommendations to NEW Devon CCG
Don’t keep people waiting to raise their concerns
Members of the public may be anxious or even angry when facing the prospect of significant service change. Let them air their concerns at the beginning of the meeting.
A local focus
Most of the material being presented was high-level, Devon wide information. Information could be more focussed on local services and possible service changes.
Have all partners visibly represented
A common concern was the perceived lack of representation of Devon County Council – especially as they commission the social care services on which the ‘new model of care’ will depend. We feel they need a more visible presence.
Active listening to public feedback
We have suggested that a post-consultation report highlighting how the public’s point of view has influenced the proposals could be useful.
Miles Sibley, Executive Director of Healthwatch Devon says “People are worried about large scale changes to local health services. We will do everything we can to help them understand what is happening, and how they can have their say. And we will continue to observe, and comment on, consultation processes run by NHS managers”.
In 2017 we will see further consultation from Devon NHS organisations as work continues on the Wider Devon Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP). Keep an eye on our website or sign up for our monthly newsletter and quarterly magazine if you want to be kept informed.
- What to expect from an NHS public consultation
- The role of Healthwatch Devon in Public Consultations
Have your say on health and care services
You can share your views on any health or care service with us at any time (and anonymously if you want to). You can use our feedback form or call us on 0800 520 0640.Feedback Form