Have your say on the future of healthcare in west Essex

CONSULTATION which will shape healthcare in Uttlesford for the next decade was launched today (Monday August 19).

West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (West Essex CCG), which is responsible for planning and buying health services on behalf of local people, launched phase one of its My health, My future, My say campaign on Monday.

Over the next six weeks, around 293,000 residents living in the districts of Uttlesford, Harlow and Epping Forest are being encouraged to have their say on services “to preserve the best of the local NHS and develop new services”.

Dr Rob Gerlis, chairman of West Essex CCG – which is responsible for an annual budget of £320 million – said: “This is just the start of a conversation with people across Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford, and everyone who has an interest in health and care services.

“We want to get everyone thinking about their own health needs and those of their family and friends, now and over the next 10 years.

“It is also an opportunity for staff, the voluntary sector and other stakeholders to have a strong voice in planning for the future.”

Clare Morris, chief officer of the organisation, added: “Big changes are needed in health and care services to enable us to create services for the future that are personalised, efficient, affordable and closer to home.

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“Changes in medicine and advances in technology will help us to do this but we also need to transform the way services are delivered and ensure they are joined-up.

“We have listened to the experiences of some of our patients and their stories have made us even more determined to make the changes that are necessary.

“But we want to hear, first-hand, the experiences and views of many more people. This is why my colleagues and I will be out and about so much during this campaign and I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible”.

The campaign includes a programme of discussions in settings including focus groups, one-to-ones, roadshows and open debate events.

In Uttlesford, a public meeting about My health, My future, My say will take place on Wednesday September 11, between 6.30-9pm, at a venue to be confirmed in Saffron Walden. There will also be events at Saffron Walden’s market on Saturday August 31, from 10am to 4pm, and at Dunmow market on Tuesday September 10, between 9am and 1pm.

To find out more and to fill in the online feedback form, visit westessexccg.nhs.uk, You can also request a toolkit to help you organise your own discussion event.

Alternatively, contact the communications team on 01992 566140 or e-mail we.ccg@nhs.net.

The deadline for feedback is September 30.