Views sought for healthcare

PUBLISHED: 14:54 26 April 2007 | UPDATED: 21:39 29 May 2010

Aidan Thomas

Aidan Thomas

CUTTING hospital waiting times, reducing admissions and bringing healthcare to patients are all ideas being proposed for West Essex over the next five years. A booklet outlining the strategies titled West Essex Primary Care Trust Proposed Strategy for Hea

CUTTING hospital waiting times, reducing admissions and bringing healthcare to patients are all ideas being proposed for West Essex over the next five years.

A booklet outlining the strategies titled West Essex Primary Care Trust Proposed Strategy for Healthcare in West Essex 2007 to 2012 has been published.

In it, it explains how the national health reform agenda is shifting the way services are delivered.

But the primary care trust, which would oversee the changes, has said it wants people's views on how services are provided.

Aidan Thomas, chief executive of West Essex Primary Care Trust (WEPCT), said: "I want to make it absolutely clear that what is being proposed is just that, a proposal. It is flexible. We want as many people to have their say in how health services are provided."

A public meeting will be held at the Foakes Hall in Dunmow High Street from 7pm to 9pm on Thursday April 26 as part of its West Essex consultation.

"This is a framework for the changes we will make," said Mr Thomas. "I am also happy to meet with groups if that is what it takes to make sure people get their say."

Mr Thomas pointed out that when the NHS was introduced in the UK in 1947, people were happy to queue for goods and wait for things to happen, but things are different now. "If the NHS is to survive, it has to change," he said.

He said there would be more emphasis on prevention of the illnesses and conditions that cause people to have to go into hospital.

"Some of these things are already happening," he said. "For example, educating people about healthier living and eating and the smoking ban coming into effect in the UK this summer.

"Also, better communication between services can reduce the cost of hospital treatments. It costs £2000 for someone to go into hospital. If someone is regularly being admitted because they keep on falling down the stairs, surely it makes better sense all round to fit a stair-lift for them."

There will also be more

effort on treating people at doctor's surgeries, rather than in hospital, to cut waiting times and reduce admissions.

"For older people, it is often more efficient and more effective for them to be treated in their own homes," said Mr Thomas.

For more details log onto www.westessexpct.nhs.uk The consultation period ends on May 31.

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