Changes to Isle health services - have your say!

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Isle residents can expect major changes in the way health services are delivered in the future.

And the first chance to ‘engage’ with those making wide-ranging decisions will be in Epworth town centre from 10am to noon on August 12.

A shortfall of £80m between the allocation of funding and cost of services means new ‘pathways’ of care from GP through to hospital discharge must be developed.

And there is a warning that specific services or areas of care may become ‘centralised’ and involve further travel for Isle residents among others.

At a meeting of North Lincolnshire Council’s health scrutiny panel on Tuesday, it was revealed radical new methods must be adopted to improve services, but on a lesser budget.

Allison Cooke, Chief Officer of North Lincolnshire’s Clinical Commissioning Group, said : “We need to invest differently to deliver better care at lower cost.”

If improvements to care and practice can be made immediately, then they will be, she said, as she acknowledged a need for ‘formal consultation with the public when we can do that.”

The ongoing review by the NLCCG comes after the damning Keogh report in response to high death rates, that highlighted hospital issues including poor staffing levels, unsatisfactory catering, waits at A and E, and high occurrence of MRSA and bed sores.

An initial action plan to address issues has been formed and the CCG is conducting its own detailed review.

Ms Cooke said future options are “unclear” at present but will be presented formally in October, following another summit meeting between health professionals.

Jean Brumby, Chair of the health scrutiny panel, said she was disappointed at the lack of clear information relating to proposed changes at Scunthorpe Hospital and elsewhere.

“This is the first time we have all got together around a table. How is the public to get to know about it all?” she asked.

Members said they hope people will turn out to engagement and consultation events, to become informed and air their views on proposed changes.