PCT: Have your say

OVER the last year NHS South West Essex has had to take some difficult decisions to get its finances back on track – now we want to hear from local people about ideas we are considering to ensure we can continue to deliver high quality patient care for patients in the future and stay within our budget.

The PCT is holding three public meetings in February to explain what has happened to date and to ask your views about some of the ideas we are considering for the future.

In the coming year the PCT will receive £650m to spend on healthcare for local people but there are many competing demands on how this money will be spent. The Government has committed not to cut health services, but even if there are no health cuts every year it costs more to provide local health services. That is because our population is growing and people are living longer with more complex (and expensive) health needs than ever before.

We have seen some real advances in treatment and healthcare – but this all comes at a cost. We also have to pay more for the resources we use such as drugs, buildings, energy (electricity and gas) as prices rise.

This is known as health service inflation. We will need to keep making efficiencies to ensure we can continue to invest those savings in services where they are needed for patients. This programme of savings is known as Quality, Innovation, Prevention and Productivity (QIPP).

Deputy chief executive Barbara Stuttle CBE says: “We are working hard to make savings and every penny of those savings will be reinvested on the front line for the benefit of patients. It is important to us to have the views of the people we serve about the changes we are thinking of making so I urge people to come along and have their say.”

Members of the public are welcome to attend the open meetings:

Thursday 10 February 2011 at 10am – Beechwood Surgery, Brentwood

Monday 14 February 2011 at 10am – Corringham Fire Station, Thurrock

The meeting will also help people understand changes that have taken place this year. Throughout 2010 the primary care trust has reported at its public Board meetings that it has been spending beyond its planned budget.

To confirm your attendance call the Patient Experience Team on 01268 245773 or email partnersinhealth@swessex.nhs.uk

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