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Melksham Seniors Forum host special public meeting on health and care services

Melksham and District Seniors 55+ Forum is hosting a special public meeting on Wednesday the 25th January on health and care issues affecting Wiltshire, including the local Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP).

Chair of Melksham Seniors, Brian Warwick explains, “The government is intent on introducing a new approach around local care and health services which is known as STP (Sustainability and Transformation Plan). Melksham Seniors Forum believe the public needs to know far more about this plan and what changes this will bring in our local services.

“STP is a new approach to help ensure that health and care services are built around the needs of local populations. To do this, every health and care system in England is producing a multi-year Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), showing how local services will evolve and become sustainable over the next five years – ultimately delivering a Five Year Forward View vision of better health, better patient care and improved NHS efficiency.

“There is a need to have a greater awareness of what that will mean locally and also the opportunity to have an expression of view on this very important change in care and health services. We have therefore invited the key officers involved from the CCG (NHS), CQC, along with the Director from RUH who is taking the lead on the STP programme, as well as Adult Services Officers at County and Health Watch Wiltshire to attend the public meeting in Melksham on the 25th January to explain more about the proposed changes.

“The STP for Wiltshire is now available for public consultation however, very few people are even aware of its existence or even what it will mean to each of us. We shall also hear more about the amalgamation of many of the services provided by the GW Foundation in Swindon, along with the Royal United Hospital and Salisbury Foundation Hospital.

“We also want to provide a forum to discuss the changes to the arrangement for doctors appointment including the online out of core hours system that is unsuitable for older people. We want to know what steps are being taken to overcome the shortage of doctors and key staff.

“Wiltshire Healthwatch in a recent statement stated, ‘People tell Healthwatch they recognise the NHS is under pressure and they want to do their bit to help.  Even though the plans are still in early stages, those who may have read about the STPs in the press will understandably be concerned about what this means for them. If the STP fails to involve people in any big decisions they will not only face opposition to the changes but they will also miss out on a golden opportunity to make the right changes first time.’

“These changes will affect all of us, so our meeting is planned to discuss with the local health professionals  and decision makers  what STP really means  for every local individual.

The public meeting will be held from 2.15pm on  Wednesday the 25th January at Melksham Town Hall.