Take the time to help shape future of the NHS in Devon

The NHS has taken to social media to encourage people from across East Devon to take part in a public consultation over its Better You, Better Devon long-term plan for healthcare.

Responses to links on platforms like Facebook could support plans to move care closer to home and improve outpatient services.

The public engagement exercise, which covers the whole of Devon and will end on September 5, is encouraging everyone to take part in a survey. Face-to-face and telephone responses are also being carried out by multiple agencies.

The results will help the NHS improve people’s physical and mental health, as well as help people to stay well.

Part of the conversation will centre on the big challenges faced by the NHS locally – including how to best serve those with multiple conditions and help prevent problems such as type 2 diabetes.

It also aims to address issues caused by a growing population and recruitment challenges.

NHS sets out priorities

A spokesperson for the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust told East Devon News.co.uk: “Earlier this year the NHS published its Long-Term Plan, setting out its ambitions and priorities for the NHS over the next 10 years.

“As part of the work that the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) for Devon has been carrying out under the badge of Better for You, Better for Devon, the RD&E is running a public survey to get people’s views on the use of digital technology.

“This will help inform improvements to a number of care pathways and in particular the work the RD&E is doing to improve outpatient services.”

The spokesperson added: “Some of the changes we are considering include providing more care closer to home, online booking systems, alternatives to face to face appointments and avoiding people having to travel to unnecessary appointments. So understanding what’s important to people in this context is hugely valuable.

“Independent analysis of all engagement will be undertaken by Healthwatch, with a final report produced in November.”

In the survey, participants are asked how the NHS can work more closely with volunteers and the voluntary sector to better support people to live healthier and for longer. Another question centres on how best to support people in their communities and in their own homes.

See all the questions by taking part in the survey here.

‘Real improvements in services’

Dr Rob Dyer, lead medical director for Devon, is working on the development of Better for You, Better for Devon. He said: “The NHS is one of our nation’s greatest achievements, and for 70 years dedicated NHS staff have been there for us in Devon and across the country. But more people are living longer, many with complex health conditions, so the NHS and local councils need to plan so they can work more smartly and effectively, deliver excellent care and attract and retain the best staff.

“Now the national plan has been published, we – as the local health and care system in Devon – need to decide how best to take the ambitions it contains and turn them into real improvements in services over the next few years.

“Better for You, Better for Devon will build on the progress we have already made in recent years by working more closely together. Placing a greater emphasis on supporting people in their communities is at the heart of our plan and we’re very keen to hear what local people have got to say this summer.”

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