Commuters' views sought on proposed changes to local NHS services

Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group is making tracks to talk to commuters about proposed changes to local NHS services.

The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is running a major public consultation on potential changes to health services and wants to ensure the views of commuters in Basildon, Billericay, Brentwood, Ingatestone, Laindon, Pitsea, Wickford and Shenfield are taken into account.

NHS staff will be outside the local stations on selected dates over the next few weeks to hand out flyers to commuters between 7am and 9am.

Basildon and Brentwood CCG is led by a team of GPs who choose and buy most of the health services for its population of 275,000 residents. 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, thefollowing treatments / products / procedures would be no longer available: male and female sterilisation; gluten-free prescribed foods; travel vaccinations (non NHS); in-vitro fertilisation and assisted conception (existing treatment); e-cigarettes; bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery); cosmetic surgery; toric intraocular lens implants for astigmatism; simultaneous joint replacement and pain treatments (facet joint injection, hip and spinal injection and spinal cord stimulation).

In addition 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 are being held at:

Wickford: Friday 12th August, 10am-12noon at Wickford Health Centre, Market Rd, Wickford SS12 0AG

Brentwood: Wednesday 17th August, 7pm-9pm at Brentwood Baptist Church Hall, Kings Road, Brentwood CM14 4DR

Billericay: Friday 26th August, 1pm-3pm at Emmanuel Church Hall, Laindon Road, Billericay CM12 9LD

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.

Other events may be announced in due course and people are urged to check http://basildonandbrentwoodccg.nhs.uk/fit-for-the-future/have-your-say-on-the-service-restriction-policy-review-2016 for any updates.

Dr Arv Guniyangodage, Chair of Basildon and Brentwood CCG, said: “We want to give as many people as possible the chance to find out more about these proposals, ask questions and share their views with us. We recognise that many commuters feel they are too busy and don’t have time to attend public meetings. That is why we will be targeting selected stations in the next few weeks to hand out information sheets to commuters and encourage them to visit the CCG’s website where they can complete our surveys and give us feedback.”

The consultation will run until 12th September and Basildon and Brentwood CCG is listening to all views before a decision is made.

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