Uttlesford residents to have say on NHS issues

Dunmow Sounding Board Group

Dunmow Sounding Board Group - Credit: Archant

A new group in Uttlesford means that residents will have their say on NHS health and care issues in the area.

The Sounding Board group comprises 18 residents who are their to represent the views of residents on the choices made by the NHS West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, which serves close on 300,000 people and is responsible for a budget of more than £350million.

The new meets regularly to share opinions and experiences and help develop and improve existing services. Members also contribute to the development of new, sustainable services in collaboration with the CCG and local clinicians.

Jackie Sully, chairman of the group, said: “People hold the power to instigate real change within the health and care system and it’s our responsibility to provide a channel through which they are able to voice their views and make changes happen.

“A strong local voice is the key to making sure that the CCG commissions services that truly serve the people they are intended to, as well as improve services to ensure the best outcomes and patient experience for local people.”

Group member Chris Brotherton said: “I’ve been working closely with the CCG to help awareness of exercise referral schemes as an alternative treatment for certain conditions, including obesity.”

The personal trainer added: “I want to help empower people to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing and exercise is a great way of improving physical and mental health.”

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Another ‘Sounding Board’ member, Rose Chitseko, said: “I have a particular interest in mental health services, including the support available for carers of people living with addiction. I feel empowered to represent my community and have a platform to raise issues.”

The group aims to share its experiences and opinions in areas such as support for carers, mental health, children and young people, long-tern conditions, older people and physical health, so that they can be fed back to the CCG and inform existing and future services.