THE next 12 months will see some significant health and social care challenges for the county and those who use and come to rely on services.

Four top driven strategic policies will impact on us all.

  • The county council budget proposals contained in the Future Lives document will be decided on by three cabinet leads and implemented. The impact of these proposals cannot be underestimated and there are a further series of consultation events being held across the county in the run up to the January 19 closing date.
  • Early in the new year we should have a first sight of the independent clinicians findings and report on the Acute Services Review. The three clinical commissioning groups will have a most responsible role in agreeing the best quality, safest way, and financially viable way forward for the county’s acute services.

Healthwatch would hope a broad consensus can be reached by all the key stakeholders. Then sometime in the year there will be a formal consultation with the population of Worcestershire.

Healthwatch will be playing a key role in that process to ensure it is open, transparent and inclusive.

  • As one of 14 pioneers selected by the Government, the integrated health and social care initiative Well Connected will start to have an impact on how and where services are delivered, work on its implementation and governance will be well under way in the coming months.
  • The Care Bill will have a direct impact on how we all will be paying for care in the future, and safeguarding boards for both adults and children will see a more involved role for the public over the next year.

Healthwatch Worcestershire is a publically funded service whose prime role is to strengthen the public and patient voice on the design and delivery of local services. We would like to hear from you about your experiences, good or bad, of health and social care.

Contact us on 01386 550264 or e-mail info@healthwatch or visit healthwatchworcestershire.

PETER PINFIELD Chairman, Healthwatch Worcestershire