Major conversation about the future of health and care gets underway

Checks on health

A two-month campaign to gather the views of Liverpool residents about the biggest change to health and care in the city for a generation starts this week.

The local NHS, working closely with Liverpool City Council, wants people to comment on the latest phase of Healthy Liverpool – a major plan to improve the health of people in the city, making sure that the health and social care system is focused on the needs of patients. It will support more of us to stay well for longer, ensuring the best care and treatment is available when needed.

Around 14,000 people took part in an earlier public conversation during summer 2015. The latest process will run until 20 March 2016.

Dr Nadim Fazlani, is a local GP and Chair of NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is the organisation leading Healthy Liverpool. He said:

“Healthy Liverpool is about helping all of us to feel the benefit of living healthier lives, and making sure that services provided in the city are of the highest standard and meet the needs of patients.

“We are looking at a wide range of issues, from getting people active, to care being available closer to home, as well as hospital services, urgent and emergency care.

“We’re now two years into the Healthy Liverpool journey, and we’re beginning to see the impact of projects that are already delivering improvements for patients – for example the new Liverpool diabetes service which brings together different elements of care to help people manage their condition.

“Last summer thousands of people told us about the issues which are important to them – such as being able to get a GP appointment when they need one, both during the day and out-of-hours – and having access to good mental health services – and we are making sure we address these concerns in our plans.

“But we need this feedback from those who use and rely on the local NHS and social care to continue. This dialogue is crucial for helping us develop a system which really meet the needs of our patients and protects services for the future.”

A key goal of Healthy Liverpool is to make health and social care in the city more sustainable. Physical activity will be central to the strategy for preventing illness and improving quality of life for people with long-term conditions, therefore reducing pressure on the NHS.

WATCH: Animation about Healthy Liverpool

Dr Maurice Smith, a GP at Mather Avenue surgery in Allerton and Clinical Director for Healthy Liverpool’s ‘Living Well’ project said, “The potential health benefits if we can get everyone in the city doing just a bit of physical activity are enormous.

“By physical activity we don’t mean training for a marathon or going to the gym every day, something as small as walking up the stairs rather than using the lift, or parking a further away from the shops can all make a difference.

“It can help prevent type 2 diabetes and heart-related illness as well as improving mental health overall. For people with breathing issues, just walking every day can significantly improve symptoms, and dramatically lower the risk of them being admitted to hospital as an emergency.”

The latest phase of Healthy Liverpool also includes plans for bringing together hospital teams for specific conditions, including heart disease, stroke and cancer surgery, and putting more health and care services into local communities.

People can learn more and share their views by visiting www.healthyliverpool.nhs.uk. Information in printed formats is available by calling 0151 247 6409.

There will also be a series of open events across the city, which will give people the opportunity to hear local doctors talk about Healthy Liverpool in more detail, and pose their questions in person.