Councils and MPs ask for views on local health and social care services
North Devon Council and Torridge District Council are joining with the MPs for North Devon and Torridge to encourage local people to share their comments on proposals, which could change the delivery of health and social care services.
The Devon Clinical Commissioning Group proposals are expected to be published soon, at the same time as opening a public consultation on the plans. It follows the work of the NHS Success Regime, to make health and social care services in the county more financially sustainable. For example, in Devon, there is a need to prevent a projected £442 million overspend in the next five years.
North Devon and Torridge District Councils are committed to contributing to the public consultation exercise. However, before formally responding, they would like to gather information from affected groups who can help shape their response with key information relating to services in northern Devon.
North Devon Council Leader, Cllr Des Brailey, said: "We believe people in North Devon should continue to have access to high quality health services. However, we do not yet know the full details of the proposals. So, as there is likely to be only a relatively small window for input into the plans, we are keen to develop contacts now with interested parties, so we can feed back appropriately."
Torridge District Council Leader, Cllr Jane Whittaker, added: "We are particularly interested in hearing from individuals and representatives who can provide evidence-based information regarding the delivery of health services in northern Devon. For example, this may focus on being in a rural community, with a dispersed population, many of whom are relatively remote from the larger urban centres in Devon."
MP for North Devon, Peter Heaton-Jones, said: "I am working hard at Westminster to ensure that Ministers, NHS directors and the Success Regime managers know about our unique circumstances in North Devon. If any changes do need to be made to the way Devon's health services are delivered, they must take account of our local needs. I would encourage everyone to help this process and fully support our councils' calls for feedback from local people. It will also provide useful information for my continued work in lobbying Parliament, Westminster and Whitehall on our behalf."
MP for Torridge and West Devon, Geoffrey Cox, QC, said: "I have recently met the Secretary of State's appointed advisor to the Success Regime to make clear that although it is important to ensure that services are clinically and financially sustainable, any changes made must not impact on vital local services, such as the A&E at NDDH. I will continue to raise this important issue at Government level and with key representatives of the Success Regime and I would also encourage everyone to take part in the consultation process to ensure their voices are heard."