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What you've been telling us about the NHS public consultation on the future of health services in Dorset

NHS Dorset is currently carrying out a Public Consultation on their proposals for the future of health services in the county (the Clinical Services Review). You can find our more on their website (https://www.csr.dorsetsvision.nhs.uk) and here on our our own website (http://www.healthwatchdorset.co.uk/CSR).
The Public Consultation began at the beginning of December 2016 and runs to the end of February 2017. It gives people the chance to find out about what's being proposed and to say what they think.

Commenting on the Consultation so far, Healthwatch Dorset Manager Martyn Webster said:

"We've been asking local people what they think of the public consultation. While many people have told us that they understand the financial issues facing the NHS and the reasoning behind Dorset CCG's proposals for health services across Dorset, there's a lot of scepticism locally that the new-look “integrated community services” will have the resources or capacity to be able to provide high-quality care outside acute hospitals. People are really worried, too, about the re-organisation of A&E departments, concerned that it will result in some people finding it harder to get the care they need when they need it. Local people have also told us that while centralising certain services in particular hospitals may be attractive to the clinicians, administrators and accountants, they're worried it will result in much greater inconvenience and hardship for some patients and families, particularly those who are more disadvantaged and vulnerable. 

People across Dorset have also been talking to us about the official Consultation Document and Questionnaire. Some people feel:

  • The document’s too long and people will only be able to scan through it and miss some parts altogether.
  • The way the proposals are presented makes it difficult for the public to grasp what their real impact would be.
  • Some parts of the document are biased towards promoting one particular option over another.
  • There's too much use of NHS jargon with limited real information the public can understand.

While we welcome Dorset CCG's series of drop-in events promoting the consultation, people have told us that there aren’t enough of these events to really cover every part of the county. And some people have said that they feel the process “seems designed to stifle debate”. Many people have told us they would like to see proper public meetings where people can ask questions and get answers from decision-makers from the CCG. Local people in some parts of the county have already arranged their own residents’ meetings and got representatives of the CCG there to answer questions, but it’s been patchy.  

In raising these issues, Healthwatch Dorset wants to help make the consultation as open and available to as many people as possible. We urge local people to find out more about what's being proposed (as well as the information the NHS is putting out including its website csr.dorsetsvision.nhs.uk, we've produced our own short guides which are on our website, including one about what the NHS legal responsibilities are to involve the public in changes to services). Then ask questions; make your views known; fill in the questionnaire and let the NHS know if you think what they're proposing will result in better services. 

It's your NHS and it's time to have your say.

THE FUTURE OF HEALTH SERVICES IN DORSET. HAVE YOUR SAY.

Dorset Clinical Services Review

NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group has launched its public consultation on the proposals contained in its Clinical Services Review. The Review covers both community services and hospital services and proposes some significant changes. Over the next three months, people who live and work in Dorset and people in neighbouring areas who use health services in Dorset have the chance to find out more about what's being proposed, to have their say and make their views known.

On our new Clinical Services Review page you'll find three short guides Healthwatch Dorset has written about the Clinical Services Review and also links to the official NHS Dorset Consultation Document, their Consultation Questionnaire and a list of their "drop-in" events round the county where you can find out more.

Commenting on the launch of the public consultation, Healthwatch Dorset Chair, Joyce Guest, said:
"This public consultation at last gives the people of Dorset the chance to get involved in decisions which will shape our health services for the future. We urge people to take this opportunity. Find out more about what's being proposed. (As well as the information the NHS is putting out, we've produced our own short guides which are on our website healthwatchdorset.co.uk, including one about what the NHS legal responsibilities are to involve the public in service changes.) Go to one of the meetings the NHS is organising if you can; ask questions; make your views known; fill in the questionnaire and let the nHS know if  you think what they're proposing will result in better services.
It's your NHS and it's time to have your say."

Once you've read them, we'd like to know what you think about the official Consultation Document and Consultation Questionnaire.
Take part in our quick poll by clicking here.

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