Bradford district and Craven residents take part in ‘Big Conversations’ event to influence future of health and social care in district

Published on 06/09/2017 at 11:44am

Over 800 residents of Bradford district and Craven have had their say on the future of health and social care across the districts as part of a project run by Healthwatch Bradford and District.

The initiative ran throughout July and August on behalf of health and care organisations in Bradford District and Craven and was commissioned by Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven, Bradford City and Bradford Districts Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). The ‘Big Conversations’ offered the opportunity for people to contribute ideas and thoughts which will help shape the future of local health, care and support services.

It aimed to be open and transparent about the challenges facing the health, care and support system, and invited feedback and new ideas on how to make sure we could maintain sustainable services as well as improving them for people. Findings will help to shape the Bradford District and Craven Health and Wellbeing Plan and will be discussed at the Health and Wellbeing Board following further analysis of the feedback later this year.

Initial findings show that access to a GP and timely emergency care are high on the list for local people with recognition that problems accessing a GP appointment have a knock on impact on emergency care in terms of accident and emergency (A&E) admissions.

Feedback also included discussion around early intervention, prevention, the importance of self-care and a focus on early health and wellbeing education for children and young people along with an emphasis on involving people more in their own care, and looking at wider health and wellbeing with a more holistic viewpoint.

The initial findings will be discussed at the CCGs’ Governing Body meetings on Tuesday 12 September.

A spokesperson for the CCGs said: “The health and social care system is under pressure and we need to find smarter, more efficient ways of working to ensure people receive the right care, first time, every time. We cannot make decisions around how we approach this without the involvement of local people, so we’re grateful to everyone who took part to share their ideas on how we can develop services in the future.”

Cllr Val Slater, Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing at Bradford Council said:  “We’re looking forward to receiving a more detailed report later this year and to continuing our conversations with the people of our districts to ensure their voices are heard and their concerns are addressed as we build a sustainable health and social care system for the future.”

Victoria Simmons, Manager at Healthwatch Bradford and District added: “Local people have been really willing to share their views and talk to Healthwatch about what’s most important to them. This interim report is just the first step in reporting back on what people had to say and making sure these views help shape the decisions that are made about the future of health and care.

“This has been a good start to opening up the important, honest conversations between organisations and the public about the need for change, and we hope there will be lots more to come.”

More information on the ‘Big Conversations’ project is available on the Healthwatch Bradford and District website.