Local People Across Falkirk Encouraged to Have Their Say on Future Health Services

A community event is being organised in Falkirk to encourage local people to have their say on how future healthcare in the region should be delivered.

With increasing numbers of cancer cases, rates of dementia set to double in the next 25 years and the local population expected to grow substantially over the next 20 years, health staff are reviewing how best to deliver care.

The event will take place on Wednesday 25th February 2015 – The Hub, Falkirk Business Hub, 45 Vicar Street, from 7.00pm – 8.30pm (tea and coffee will be available from 6.30pm).

NHS Forth Valley’s Director of Public Health and Strategic Planning, Dr Graham Foster, explained that the local events will spell out that the case for change and highlight some of the work now underway to look at the way local health services could be organised, delivered and developed in the future.

He said: “Our NHS is facing a huge challenge. As we overcome many of the ‘traditional’ life threatening diseases, like heart attacks and cancer, people are living long and the focus of health care is moving towards long term conditions like diabetes and arthritis which require ongoing support. We also have many older people with very complex health needs and growing numbers of people living with multiple illnesses or diseases.

“While this presents a real challenge for NHS services across Scotland, we have the potential for many more people to be investigated, treated or cared for at home or in their local community, rather than having to come into hospital, and let’s face it, most people prefer to sleep in their own bed!”

NHS Forth Valley’s Person-Centred and Patient Relations Manager Karen Maclure added: “We launched our Clinical Service Review in October 2014 and over the last few months we have been gathering information and feedback from a wide range of sources. While the initial response has been good, we are keen to gather feedback and suggestions from as many local people, community groups and local organisations as possible. This will help inform our new healthcare strategy as it’s important to listen to what local people think of our existing services and how they would like to see them developed in the future.”

The Health Board has set up eight working groups* to review existing clinical services to help develop a new healthcare strategy which will set out local plans and priorities for the next five years. Each group is led by a senior clinician and manager who are working closely with local staff, partner organisations and other key stakeholders. NHS Forth Valley is particularly keen to hear the views of local patients, carers and voluntary organisations on the issues which matter most to them.

The local engagement event will include a short presentation on how the Clinical Services Review is being taken forward followed by a question and answer session. Comments and suggestions from each event will also be gathered and fed back to the clinical review working groups.