Your say on way ahead for health

Dr Peter Parry-Okeden
Dr Peter Parry-Okeden

Bedfordshire GPs are holding a series of meetings for patients and members of the public to have their say on how healthcare should be organised in the future.

Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) is hoping to involve people in redesigning and developing the service as part of a Government-funded review, supported by Monitor, NHS England and the NHS Trust Development Authority.

The review is organised into four key focus areas: urgent and emergency care, planned care such as operations, long-term conditions and children’s and maternity services.

Bedford GP and vice-chair at Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Peter Parry-Okeden said: “One in five people in Bedfordshire have long-term conditions such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease or dementia and numbers are growing.

“The county will become home to an extra 71,000 people between now and 2031, with the proportion of over-65s increasing dramatically.

“Healthcare has to keep pace. We need input from across the community to help us decide how we deliver better health outcomes and higher quality care in the future.”

Encouraging local people to participate, Diana Blackmun of Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire said: “This is a really important opportunity for everyone to have their say on how our health services are designed and developed.

“Attending your local public meeting and having your say is a very good way to contribute to the review and ensure your views are heard.”

The first meeting is at Kings House, 245 Ampthill Road, Bedford, MK42 9AZ, from 7pm to 9pm, on Tuesday, April 1.

The second meeting is at The Rufus Centre, Steppingley Road, Flitwick, MK45 1AH, from 7pm to 9pm, on Thursday, April 3.

For more information go online to www.yourhealth