“The response to the consultation on shaping the future of local health services has been encouraging” says North Surrey Primary Care Trust Chief Executive Nick Yeo. “A variety of people have attended our public meetings which have been held so far in Feltham, Hersham, Shepperton, Staines, and Woking. A number of important issues have been raised and it has been invaluable to hear directly from local people regarding their questions and concerns. We are only part-way through this consultation process with more public meetings to come and we would encourage as many people as possible to come along and discuss our proposals with us.”

The consultation - ‘Shaping the Future of Your Local Health Services’ - was launched in October and continues until 30th January 2004. The consultation document and Executive Summary are available by visiting www.westsurrey.nhs.uk and have been distributed widely across the local area. Eight hundred posters and four hundred posting boxes for comments have been distributed to many places including GP and dental surgeries, local libraries and in both Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals.

All three Primary Care Trusts (Hounslow, North Surrey, Woking Area) and Ashford & St. Peter’s Hospitals can provide speakers for groups who wish to hear more about the discussions. The consultation process started with over 12 months (August 2002 to September 2003) of discussion to develop the themes and proposals contained within the consultation document. In late October and early November 2003 speakers from the organisations involved attended local forums and stakeholder groups to discuss the proposals in more detail. The first round of public workshop meetings started on 17th November and will conclude on 16th December.

Glenn Douglas, Chief Executive at Ashford & St. Peter’s Hospitals commented: “Like many other public services healthcare is changing. Many services now and in the future will be provided in local health centres and GP surgeries. We are achieving the targets set out in the ten year national NHS Plan published in May 2000. But we need to change to ensure that services for patients improve in line with the Plan and local people can get the best possible health services. I would encourage everyone to attend and make their contribution to this important debate.”


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