Local people’s views will help shape new plan for future of health and care services

People living in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire have said they want health and social care providers to support them to live healthier lifestyles, offer better access to services and make sure the professionals they see understand their needs.

Their views have been collected as part of the recent Our Health Our Future engagement campaign run by NHS and Local Authority organisations seeking to find out what people want from future health and care services. Full results from the campaign have been published online today at www.bswstp.nhs.uk/ourhealthourfuture/

The survey results, alongside separate findings collected by independent health champion Healthwatch, will now be used by health and care leaders as they develop plans for how services across the area will be organised over the next five years.

The Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Long Term Plan will be published online over the next few weeks. 

People taking part in the survey said they would like to be given the opportunities, advice and information they need to live healthier lifestyles and be more aware of symptoms of diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure so they could seek help earlier.

They said it should be easier to see staff at surgeries and waiting times for appointments and operations in hospitals should be reduced.

Lots of respondents also said they didn’t always feel listened to or taken seriously by the health and care professionals they saw. Younger respondents said they would value better access to mental health services and support.

Tracey Cox, Chief Executive Office for Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire CCGs, said:
“As the wider health and care system in B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire draws up plans for the next five years, it is essential that we listen to the views of local people so we can ensure our services provide support through every stage of people’s lives and help them start well, live well and age well.

I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to fill in our survey or talk to us. The views they have shared will play an important role in how we develop our health and care services in BSW over the coming years.”

Dr Ian Orpen,  Chairman of the BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Board said:
“As our population ages and the health and care services we provide come under increasing pressure, it is going to be more important than ever before to help people live healthy lifestyles and take more control of their own health and wellbeing.

The Our Health Our Future survey has shown this is a priority for local people and it will certainly be reflected in our plans over the coming years.

At the same time, we will also need to take into account the financial pressures our local health and care system is facing now and in the future.”

BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups to merge next April

Three groups responsible for the planning, buying and monitoring of health services in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire will become a single organisation in April 2020.

The merger, which has been given formal approval by NHS England and NHS Improvement today, follows a period of engagement with the public, staff, providers and other key stakeholders.

It has also been supported by GP practices in BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire as well as each CCG governing body.

The plan will have no effect on the way services are currently provided across the area but will reduce variation in care and standardise best practice so everyone can access high quality treatment and services, regardless of where they live. 

Working as one organisation will also help the CCG meet financial challenges through offering greater buying power, eliminating the duplication of administrative support functions and streamlining governance processes. The savings made can then be invested in frontline services or transformational projects. 

Tracey Cox, Chief Executive of the new BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“Getting the go ahead to merge our three CCGs is very positive news. Coming together as a single CCG will allow health and care providers in B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire to ensure we are reducing variation in the provision of services. We also want to concentrate on supporting people to stay healthy and tackle the causes of illness.

This merger will also allow us to meet financial challenges, for example through economy of scale cost-savings and the streamlining of governance and administration which means we can invest more of our budget into frontline services. 

I believe that as a single CCG, we will be in a stronger position to improve outcomes for patients, whilst still retaining our local voice.”

Elizabeth O’Mahony, NHS England and NHS Improvement South West Regional Director said:

“Bringing together Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire CCGs into one single, strategic organisation mirrors developments taking place across the NHS as health and care services move to work more closely together for the benefit of local people and employees.”