Patients Wanted to Improve Urgent Healthcare in Oldham
As we all know, over the past two years there has been much change and uncertainty in the health and social care sector. The Health and Social Care Act 2012 brings about a number of key changes including the introduction of Clinical Commissioning Groups to replace Primary Care Trusts as the decision makers of healthcare; the establishment of Health and Wellbeing Boards will provide strategic coordination of all local services that have a role in bringing about better health and wellbeing for our local residents; and an enhanced role of the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) to identify the major health needs through broader involvement of the public.
This new legislation will also introduce HealthWatch, which will be the new “consumer champion” for health and social care services and will replace LINks in April 2013. Oldham LINk was awarded HealthWatch Pathfinder status last year so that we could begin to test out how a Local HealthWatch would engage with the new decision making structures that will also be formally introduced in April of next year.This means that we have been given a great opportunity to get a head start in Oldham, which we have taken full advantage of.
The most current work of our HealthWatch Pathfinder is the Health Commission into Urgent Care. We are looking for a panel of 12 local people of different ages who reflect as many different local communities, geographical areas and ethnicities as possible, to work with us to provide recommendations about how local urgent care services could be changed and improved.
The panel will come together as a “patients’ jury” to listen to a series of ‘expert witnesses’ provide their ‘evidence’ on various aspects of urgent care, including out of hours GP cover, Accident and Emergency Care and walk in centres. We intend for this work to be patient-led and the process will be chaired by a local patient.
We are hosting this work on behalf of Oldham CCG’s Clinical Director for Urgent Care, Dr David McMaster, in order to involve local people at as early stage as possible in service development. The Oldham Urgent Care Partnership Board wants to ensure that patients continue to receive the high-quality care they need, in the right place at the right time, in spite of the financial constraints facing public services at present. This Health Commission into Urgent Care is the first stage in aiming to make this happen.
If you live in Oldham and feel that you would have something to contribute to this work, we would like to invite you to take part in this exciting opportunity to influence how your local services are designed and delivered. This will follow a similar format to our Oldham Health Commission into Fairness, which received national recognition by the Department of Health as an example of engagement good practice for CCG’s across the country. (See www.oldhamhealthcommission.org.uk to see how it went). It was here that we first introduced this methodology with the CCG into health engagement in Oldham
To express your interest in taking part, please either compete and return the attached application form, or alternatively you can call us on 0161 622 5700, where we can complete the application process over the phone. You will need to let us know if you are interested by 22nd November and the panel will be announced by 23rd November. Priority will be given to those who have not participated widely in health before, and who can help us create a group that reflects Oldham’s population as far as possible.
I look forward to receiving your applications and working with you on this important work.
Oldham LINk has been awarded pathfinder status for the upcoming HealthWatch, the new local and consumer voice for people who use and need health and social care services due to start in October 2012.
The following link leads to a Pathfinder Proposal, written by Oldham LINk and presents what the pathfinder status means for Oldham LINk, what the Department of Health's vision is for HealthWatch and also the context for Oldham LINk regarding its engagement with Clinical Commissioning Group (formerly GPCC) and the Health and Wellbeing Board.
Please click on the link below to see the full document.
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