NHS under scrutiny
Published at 19:30, Thursday, 22 January 2009
THE second meeting in Keswick’s Exploring Our Community project looked at the NHS Closer to Home strategy and the role of the community hospital in the town.
The role of the community hospital in the town and the aim of the Closer to Home strategy was discussed and a panel of experts attended the meeting.
About 40 people were in the audience.
The panel, at the meeting on Monday, was Allan Buckley, non executive director on the Cumbria primary care trust, Keswick GP Dr Maurice Hamilton, Dr Fayyaz Chaudhri, a GP in Maryport and Dr Peter White, a GP at Castlehead surgery in Keswick who had been seconded to work on the community hospital plan in Keswick.Mr Buckley said that the main job of primary care trust NHS Cumbria was to provide health services for the area and use a fund of £80 million to invest in the new community hospital.
He added that the Closer to Home strategy would look to improve health services in the town, which included giving the community more choice about what they want as well as a better quality of care.
He said that doctors and GPs had to engage with the community and use the resources available to them to provide better healthcare.
He said: “Keswick has a great community and we have to try and develop that.”
Dr Fayyaz Chaudhri, a GP in Maryport said the community of Keswick should get the best value for money for the healthcare they receive.
He said that massive improvement had been seen over the last few years and that community hospitals were the solution as they could provide more healthcare closer to the community.
He said “The new cottage hospital will be community orientated and GPs will be thinking how to help the whole community and improve health care for everyone.”
Dr Peter White, a Keswick GP said Keswick had enjoyed the benefits of the community hospital and that patient satisfaction in the town was generally good.
He said access was needed for all to the community hospitals to keep people in the community as well as improvements in diagnostic testing.
The panel also answered questions from the audience.
Dr White said that Keswick was geographically challenged and that the town had to protect the services it already has and allow the community hospital to develop.Mr Buckely said that the Closer to Home strategy would mean that a different service would be provided and allow more people to be treated at home rather than in the hospital.Dr Chaudhri said: “People need to be in hospital for a reason and it is better and a lot cheaper for them to be at home.”Dr Chaudhri also mentioned that all surgeries are building on patient feedback and that all services were being built around the patient and Dr White said there was now a more balanced view about what is needed in the community compared to before. Mr Buckley added: “We need people to tell us what they are pleased with and get as much feedback as possible even if it is negative.“We need to try and improve our services and we can only learn from comments the community give us.”The panel agreed that it was very important that hospices were included in the plan and that developing end of life care was important to many people.They said the number of beds at the community hospital would not be increased but the 26 beds would be more efficiently used.
The third meeting in the series will take place on Monday, starting at 7.30pm, at the Quaker Meeting House and will look at the topic of youth in Keswick.
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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