The new local health plan came under the spotlight at a special meeting of Melksham Seniors last week.
The plan – called Sustainable Transformation Plan – hopes to save money by improving its organisation and management of local health services while delivering health care in different ways.
A large turnout of around 150 people heard presentations by several speakers including David McClay, The Bath & NE Somerset, Swindon & Wiltshire STP lead; Allison Elliot, Interim Associate Director Wiltshire Council; and Mark Harris, Chief Operating Manager, CCG.
After the speakers made their presentations and answered very probing questions from the public, the audience went into an open workshop session where they formulated questions and suggestions for inclusion in the WSUN Report and follow up by the STP managers.
Brian Warwick, chair of Melksham Seniors said, “I was delighted to see so many new members joining in our widening range of activities and such a fantastic public turnout for our meeting last Wednesday on the new local STP plan for Care and Health.
“It clearly demonstrated the keen interest in the community to working in partnership to improve our local care and health structure, there will be further feedback on the subject in the coming month.
“There were many calls from the audience for further meetings where the Melksham public can be fully engaged in partnership working with Care and Health professionals to ensure the STP plan brings about many benefits.
“There was the public call at the meeting for a cease in the cuts the government is making to local government that affects care services. A huge majority voted on a willingness to pay up to 10% increase in Community charges if ring fenced to meet the extra funding needed to protect cuts in care services. This would amount to only the cost of a pint or a gin and tonic per household per week.
“There was a willingness to pay 2p or 3p extra in taxation on PAYE if ring-fenced – solely for extra funding to meet care and health needs.
“In other words the public were calling for no cuts that hit the sick and the vulnerable; they wanted more investment in prevention to improve health, keeping people out of hospital and thereby reducing the need for more care.”
• IT’S set to be a busy few months for Melksham Seniors Forum, with meetings and activities planned as well as a special musical performance and community day event.
“There are many other key meetings and activities planned for the coming months,” added Brian Warwick. “On the 6th February we have our first Monday in the month activity club meeting 1.30pm at the Forest Community Centre. On Monday 20th February at 1.30pm we meet at the Assembly Hall for our film matinee showing by special request the great classic Love is a Many-Splendored Thing. There will also be an opportunity to discuss future programmes and ideas for other activities.
“An other important event in the pipe line is the live musical production of Scam-Busters on the 20th March in the Assembly Hall. More information in the next edition of the Melksham News.
“Then in April in addition to our monthly Activity Club and film matinee, we shall be hosting a major event on Saturday the 22nd April in the Assembly Hall where we are hosting a Community Day with Melksham Town Council. This is when all the local organisations and service providers that have any affinity with the over 50’s are offered the opportunity to have a stand to promote their wares to the wider community. More information will be available in the coming weeks.
“A number of people approached me last week with the suggestion of inviting speakers and round table discussions perhaps once a quarter, it is a worthy suggestion which will be considered along with other calls for Groups for Whist, IT training and three or four cookery and baking classes. If you are interested in such activities let us know.”