MPs discuss NHS plan with leaders

Huw Merriman chaired a meeting in Parliament between MPs and NHS leaders SUS-170118-170735001
Huw Merriman chaired a meeting in Parliament between MPs and NHS leaders SUS-170118-170735001

MPs from across Sussex met with local NHS leaders to discuss proposed changes to the area’s health service.

During the meeting in Parliament, chaired by Bexhill and Battle MP Huw Merriman, local MPs received an overview of the NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) which is being formulated for Sussex and East Surrey.

The local STP is one of 44 area plans with a mandate to reorganise existing services. The government has signalled that any savings delivered from the plan can be ploughed back in to health and social care services.

During the meeting, MPs asked the NHS leaders if patients were being discharged as soon as they were ready to leave local hospitals. MPs heard that the NHS had been receiving extra funds but more support was needed for local authorities who provide care before and after hospital treatment.

The chief executive of the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, Michael Wilson CBE, said changes to local NHS provision will involve health and social care services in East Sussex joining together to allow patients to be given the best care across the treatment pathway.

Sussex MPs asked Mr Wilson and his team to ensure local residents would be given comprehensive information with enough time to respond to any proposals which could change the centres where patients are treated.

MPs cautioned that implementation should only take place once the public had been given this opportunity.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Merriman said: “Sussex MPs are grateful to our NHS team for the vital work they do and for coming to Parliament to offer their vision of future provision in the area.

“We received reassurance that residents will be fully consulted over any changes.

“Plans in East Sussex to put our health and social care together are already well underway through the Better Together programme and I have spoken in the House of Commons of my optimism that this will deliver a better service to our community. For patients, the pathway from hospital to social care needs to be seamless to ensure they get the best possible care. I have committed to acting as a link between local MPs and the NHS leaders and I look forward to more information being made available.”

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