News release: Reminder to 'Have Your Say' in health service public consultation

Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group is reminding residents to ‘have their say’ on proposed changes to local NHS services.

A public consultation on potential changes to health services has been running for six weeks and will continue to Monday, 12th September, giving more members of the public in Brentwood, Basildon, Billericay and Wickford the chance to voice their opinions.

Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is an NHS body led by GPs who choose and buy most of the health services for its population of 275,000. The CCG is facing a £14million deficit in 2016/17 and is looking at ways to make improvements and meet the needs of the population.

Basildon and Brentwood CCG plans to deliver more Intermediate Care outside of a hospital setting, in turn helping to increase people’s independence and reduce unnecessary hospital admissions. Intermediate care is short-term NHS care that is provided free of charge for people who no longer need to be in hospital but may, after discharge from hospital, need some extra support which will help them to be as independent as possible.

The CCG is also proposing changes to its Service Restriction Policy for a number of treatments, procedures and products which would no longer be available to residents in Basildon and Brentwood, or would be subject to tighter restrictions, except under exceptional circumstances.

As part of the proposals now being consulted on, the following treatments / products / procedures would no longer be available: male and female sterilisation; gluten-free prescribed foods; travel vaccinations (non NHS); in-vitro fertilisation and assisted conception (existing treatment); cosmetic surgery; toric intraocular lens implants for astigmatism and simultaneous joint replacement.

In addition, the consultation includes two procedures commissioned by NHS England which are likely to become the commissioning responsibility of CCGs. One is Bariatric (weight loss) surgery which the CCG is proposing not to fund. In relation to pain treatments, the CCG is proposing to stop offering facet joint injections and hip and spinal injections on the basis of clinical evidence. Spinal cord stimulation is approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) technology appraisal guidance (TA159) and is a service commissioned by NHS England. Where patients meet the criteria specified by NHS England, they will still be eligible for spinal cord stimulation at specialised centres. Basildon Hospital – where patients may currently receive this particular pain treatment – is not one the NHS England designated centres.

The CCG’s proposal not to fund e-cigarettes comes in advance of Government plans to make them available on prescription from 2017 to smokers who want to quit.

Furthermore the following treatments/procedures would be subject to tighter restrictions: Hip arthroscopy; knee arthroscopy (including knee washout); shoulder arthroscopy; carpal tunnel; cholecystectomy (gallstones); cataract surgery; diagnostic endoscopy—Dyspepsia; diagnostic endoscopy - colon (colonoscopy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome—IBS); female genital prolapse/stress incontinence - surgical and non-surgical; hernia; microsuction; Dupuytren’s Contracture; hysterectomy for menorrhagia; knee replacement - unilateral; minor skin lesions; sleep studies - snoring; trigger finger and varicose veins.

Full details of all the proposed changes can be found on the CCG’s website at http://basildonandbrentwoodccg.nhs.uk/fit-for-the-future where everyone is encouraged to complete the online/paper surveys and give their views.

Public meetings, pop-up stands and drop-in sessions where you can find out more information are being held at:

Billericay: Friday 26th August, 1pm-3pm - meeting with presentation and Q&A at Emmanuel Church Hall, Laindon Road, Billericay CM12 9LD

Basildon: Saturday 3rd September, 10am-5pm – pop-up stand at Love Your Borough event in marquee behind Costa, Basildon Town Square SS14 1BA

Basildon: CCG Annual General Meeting, Thursday 8th September, 4pm-8pm at St. George’s Suite, The Basildon Centre, St. Martin's Square, Basildon, SS14 1DL. The AGM is expected to run from 4pm-6pm and 6pm-8pm will be a Fit for the Future public consultation drop-in session

Brentwood: Saturday 10th September, 10am-4pm – pop-up stand at Baytree Centre – Chapel Ruins, Brentwood High Street CM14 4BX

Dr Arv Guniyangodage, Chair of Basildon and Brentwood CCG, said: “Since the consultation started, we have had hundreds of survey responses from people who have seen or heard about our proposals on TV and the radio, taken our information flyers at stations or met us at a supermarket.

“This is a consultation about a number of changes designed to ensure local healthcare services are ‘Fit for the Future’ and help as many people as possible. We are really keen to hear what people think and would encourage everyone to take part so that the CCG Board can take all views into account before making a final decision on the proposed changes at the end of September.”