Give your views on future of health

Dr Alex Gaw.
Dr Alex Gaw.

Morecambe Bay residents can give their views on health services across north Lancashire and south Cumbria over the coming weeks.

Local NHS organisations including NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, Lancashire North Clinical Commissioning Group and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust are currently reviewing local services.

Health professionals including GPs and hospital doctors have started looking at how health services are provided in the area.

They are considering how the different parts of the health service can work together more effectively to ensure individual patients get the most appropriate care.

Later in the year there will be a full public consultation.

However, over the next few months there will be a number of early opportunities for people to find out about the review of local health services and to give their views.

An independent research company called TNS BMRB has been carrying out a number of focus groups with stakeholders and members of the public, and over the next few weeks there will also be a questionnaire about local services which everyone will have the chance to complete.

The questionnaires will be available in places such as GP surgeries and hospitals and it is also possible to request a copy by emailing luke.taylor@tns-bmrb.co.uk or by calling 01539 715219.

Dr Alex Gaw, a GP in Morecambe and chair of NHS Lancashire North CCG, said: “This review is a real opportunity to make sure we provide the best possible health services for our patients now and well into the future.

“It’s about the quality of services that doctors and nurses, as the face of the NHS, deliver and the way we deliver them together, focusing on what is best and safest for patients based on the current evidence.

“It’s very important we know what local people think, so we hope that as many people as possible will find out more about this review and fill in the questionnaires.”

In addition, a Better Care, Together information bus will be travelling around the area between Saturday, March 16 and Wednesday, March 27 to give people the chance to find out more about what is being discussed.

The bus will be visiting the following places:

Lancaster on Saturday March 16

Kirkby Lonsdale on Monday March 25

Morecambe and Carnforth on Tuesday March 26

Garstang on Wednesday March 27

Further details about times and locations of the information bus will be available on the website www.bettercaretogether.co.uk.

Dr Hugh Reeve, a GP in south Cumbria and the clinical chair for Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “There are some difficult decisions to be made about how we provide health services both inside and outside hospitals in future.

“It is important we know what local people think and what their priorities are.

“We would therefore encourage people to come and talk to us on the information bus when it visits their local area.”