Hundreds of local people, patients and staff across Forth Valley have shared their ideas and suggestions on how they would like to see health services delivered in future as part of a major review of clinical services.
Several key themes have already been identified. These include putting patients and their families at the heart of all decisions, good communication, more consistency in the way services are delivered and better-co-ordinated care.
Greater use of technology, better access to services, and improvements in the management of patients with very complex health needs were also recurring priorities.
Dr Graham Foster, director of public health and planning, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to tell us about the issues which matter most to them and how they would like to see health services developed in the future.
‘‘This feedback is really important and will help inform the development of our new healthcare strategy.”
NHS Forth Valley’s clinical services review was launched in October 2014 and is looking at eight key areas including cancer care and emergency and out-of-hours services to help develop a new healthcare strategy which will set out the board’s plans and priorities for the next five years.
Over the last six months a number of engagement events have taken place to capture feedback from the general public and meetings have taken place with a wide range of patients, carers and staff groups across Forth Valley.
Many community groups, staff and service users have also fed back comments and suggestions via a short online questionnaire.
Detailed work has also been carried out to examine future changes in the local population, estimate future service activity and forecast the prevalence of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke in Forth Valley.
Other factors which affect the health and wellbeing of local people such as poverty, poor housing, unemployment, smoking, alcohol consumption and exercise rates are also being explored.
The clinical services review is designed to link with the Scottish Government’s 2020 Vision for healthcare.
This aims to ensure that, by the year 2020, people across Scotland are able to lead longer, healthier lives at home or in a homely setting with the majority of healthcare delivered in a community setting.
The review also takes account of national health policies and targets, best practice locally, nationally and internationally as well as the work already underway to integrate local health and social care services across Forth Valley.