Future of Stockport’s Health Services Discussed
The future of health services in Stockport came under the public microscope at a lively meeting held in Reddish.
Residents got a glimpse at how care is changing to help improve support in the community and hospitals at Healthwatch Stockport’s - Stockport’s health and care watchdog - first Network Event of 2018.
Held at the New Bairstow Club on Monday 12th March, attendees heard presentations from the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), Stockport Neighbourhood Care and Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council.
Nathan Hearn, Contact Delivery Manager for NWAS, talked about the challenges the Patient Transport Service (PTS) team face in Greater Manchester improving target waiting times, as well as working in partnership to ensure key health messages – such as the flu jab - were reaching patients.
Mr Hearn said: “Thank you for the opportunity to attend your event in Reddish, NWAS Patient Transport Service work with Healthwatch groups across Greater Manchester in a variety of ways, so the chance to meet members personally to discuss our service and the work we do was really appreciated.
“I look forward to continuing our association and always welcome feedback from your group at Stockport.”
The work of Stockport Neighbourhood Care was discussed by Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council’s Director of Adult Social Care Mark Fitton, who highlighted the importance of Greater Manchester’s core principles of 24 hour urgent care, available seven days a week, through Urgent Care Centres, which would ease demand away from A&E.
He talked about the creation of community hubs in Stockport with teams of GPs and health care professionals, improving the Mental Health pathway and the success of Steady in Stockport falls service which has seen an increase in referral.
Attendees also heard about the Care Quality Commission local system review which took place last month and again this month - which is focussing on what the experience of care is like for someone moving between different services and health and social care partners.
Mr Fitton said: “It was great to have the opportunity to update members of Healthwatch on Stockport Together & Stockport Neighbourhood Care at their Network Event.”
Issues raised during the session included concerns about how the PTS teams could appropriately signpost people with Mental Health conditions to the right support and patients struggling to book the PTS, and the importance of the health services acting now to help the elderly and vulnerable.
Also speaking on the day was Naomi Davies from Stockport Council who gave a demonstration of the Red Bag Initiative.
The distinctive red bags will be provided to people in care homes when they enter hospital and will contain important care notes, medication and personal items belonging to the patient. It aims to improve the experience of residents and help speed up the discharge process.
Sue Carroll, Healthwatch Stockport Chairman, said “We were delighted to be able to welcome key speakers from Stockport’s Health and Social Care services.
“As shown by the turnout to this event, people care about the future of the town’s health and social care, from the support at home to travelling to appointments, speaking to GPs or visiting the hospital.
“We will continue to champion resident’s views to the commissioners and providers of services to make sure the voice of local people is heard and we hope to welcome residents to our next event in May.”
The next Healthwatch Stockport Network Event will take place in May. For more information call 0161 974 0753