What is Fit for my Future?
It’s our strategy for how we will support the health and wellbeing of all the people of Somerset by changing the way we commission and deliver health and care services. It is being delivered through a partnership between Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group and Somerset County Council, supported by our major NHS providers.
We all need to do more to stop getting ill in the first place. But when people do become ill we want to make sure they can get access to joined up health and care support in the community, away from hospitals where possible, to help them live independently for as long as they can.
We want to work closely with local people on the development of all of these proposals.
Why do we need to change?
The health and care system faces major challenges. Services are increasingly stretched, with demand outstripping capacity in many areas. We have a growing and increasingly elderly population, which will have a rising requirement for care.
Some of our services will not be viable in the future unless something changes, as we cannot recruit the expert staff we need to support them. There are significant gaps in our services, for example in health and wellbeing, and in mental health. Pressure on services and funding cuts mean a funding gap of £146million in our health budget by 2022/23 if we continue as we are (CCG, NHS Hospital Trusts and Somerset Partnership).
Click here to find out more information, including the full case for change.
What have we done so far?
Engagement Autumn 2018
From early October, when we launched the case for change and emerging ideas, through to Christmas we travelled across the county, talking with hundreds of public, staff and stakeholders to listen to their views.
315 people attended 18 drop-in sessions county-wide held at various times of the day, staffed by doctors and other medical experts who answered specific questions about the services under review. Two evening sessions were added to the original number in response to public demand for a later time for those at work during the day.
Clinicians and Fit for my Future leads attended over 150 separate events for MPs and councillors; Carers; PPG members; Somerset Engagement Advisory Group; Mental Health Stakeholder Forum; Spark Voluntary Forum; Somerset Sight; Sedgemoor Compass Disability Forum; Memory Cafés and Community Connect (village agents).
We sought the views of 725 stakeholder organisations; charities; community groups; patient groups; plus GP practice managers; PPG Chairs; and parish, district and county councillors. We sent tailored emails to all of these and to key ‘harder to reach’ groups. We received over 50 responses and feedback, including The Samaritans and several Parish Councils.
For a copy of the Phase 1 Engagement Report click here
Engagement February 2019
In our February engagement, we looked at the criteria that should be used to reduce the long list of possible options down to a short list of proposals for public consultation.
Led by Evolving Communities, who run Somerset Healthwatch, there were some initial public and staff views shared through a series of focus groups, and then we asked you to share your thoughts.
We will share the results of this engagement shortly.
What happens next?
Detailed development of proposals and options for change building in the feedback is taking place throughout Spring and Summer 2019.
In some cases, we think the proposals may lead to significant changes in how and where services are provided. Before we make any decisions on those things we will carry out a full 3-month public consultation process. This may include:
- Changes to the configuration of some acute services where we think this would result in better quality. This is likely to affects obstetrics, paediatrics and stroke, and may also include other specialities
- Developing new options for how we use our community hospitals – particularly given that we will be developing community services so that fewer people need to stay in community hospital beds, and that we are looking at how many urgent treatment centres we need
- The nature and configuration of our mental health inpatient services
How can you get involved with Fit for my Future?
The views, thoughts and experiences of the local communities are vital in developing outstanding services in Somerset. You can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.