A new chapter for health service
IN a major shake-up of the NHS doctors will take over healthcare budgets in April when Primary Care Trusts make way for Clinical Commissioning Groups.
The Hastings and Rother CCG met at St Peter’s Community Centre last week to discuss preparation for the moment it takes charge of £258 million allocated to our area - with responsibility for paying for hospital services, community and primary care (such as district nurses and health visitors), mental health, prescribing , learning disabilities services, and managers to support GPs.
The board members included local GPs such as Dr Rob McNeilly, who works in Robertsbridge and Battle, Dr Milan Radia from Hastings, Dr Susan Rae from St Leonards who has also practised in Rye, and Dr David Warden from Bexhill. Dr Greg Wilcox, from Hastings, is the CCG’s clinical chief officer, and Dr Roger Elias from the Sea Road surgery in Bexhill is chairman. There were two lay members in attendance, Alan Rummins, and Barbara Beaton, and other members were Charles Everett, non- executive director, John O’Sullivan who is chief finance officer, and Amanda Philpott, chief operating officer.
Their work has been to get ready for the moment they take up the reins on April 1 and discussion highlighted aims and values as well as the local issues and problems they have to address.
There are 183,500 people in Hastings and Rother, and the area is covered by 32 GP practices. Across this area 25 percent are obese, 25 percent drink excess alcohol, and 23 percent of adults smoke, which is higher than the national average.
The CCG has outlined its health priorities of older people, healthy lifestyle, chronic diseases, cancer, mental health, accidents and falls, and place of death at the end of life.
Its values are, said Dr Elias, “to secure the best and most effective care for our patients, to be open and honest in our dealings, and maintain the highest integrity.”
Dr Diana Grice told the meeting, the first held in public, about particular issues for the area, examining first the needs of youngsters. She told the board almost one in five children is living in poverty across the county, with six times more living in poverty in urban areas than rural. In some areas there was a high concentration with almost 50 percent of children living in poverty.
She asked: “How does that impact on children their health and wellbeing for the future?” and stressed services must be targeted to support children and their families to mitigate the effect. She discussed infant mortality rates, smoking in pregnancy, maternal obesity, breastfeeding, childhood immunisation, need for education and healthy lifestyle, as problems to be tackled. She said: “We need to make sure services are giving extra support to those families who need it most,” and “early intervention and early help to those families who need it.”
Another concern locally is the high level of children admitted to hosital as a result of accidents or deliberate injury. Dr Grice said high numbers of respiratory problems were also a worry.
Early detection of cancer was highlighted, with Dr Grice saying most people go to hospital for treatment at a late stage with “the outcome likely to be poorer”. She told the meeting patients must be ecnouraged to seek help earlier and that it was important the CCG stepped up prevention work and “encourage and enable people to get to hospital quicker.” She told the board the group must look at the quality of services and discuss what to do to imporve prevention and early detection.
The Chief Finance Officer told the board that the budget would be split across the locality according to criteria of age and deprivation and that he expected the changeover from the PCT, which was planning to hand over a £570,000 surplus, to run smoothly so the CCG could “continue the good financial progress we have made” into 2013/4.
Dr Elias added: “We must do the greatest good for the greatest number of people within the limits of our resources.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Bexhill-on-Sea
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 12 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 7 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North