Good and bad in the local NHS

Part of our response to the Labour Party Policy consultation June 2012

What aspects of your local NHS could be improved upon?

  1. The local NHS is expected to tackle problems associated with the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other addictive drugs, too much fat sugar and salt and a sedentary lifestyle with little support from central or local government.
  2. GP services that provide proactive and responsive primary care – they seem to provide ever less.
  3. Mental health services that are effective, have a social model of mental distress (while treating biological problems) and are integrated into he wider social and health support systems.
  4. Proper public dentistry system rather than the anarchic patchwork of profit seeking private contractors.

Are there positive examples in your local NHS that others could learn from?

1)     Cooperative Commissioning: Lewisham have agreed to implement this new approach to collaborative work.

2)     LINk database: Lewisham LINk has designed and used a database into which all patient experience is placed. We now have 1000s of comments which can be used to guide commissioning decisions in the patients’ interests.

3)     A Patient and Public Involvement Strategy that is simple, cheap and effective in Lewisham – and very collaborative, bringing together all the key players.

4)     Community Development that works with local people and local organisations to improve health and behaviour change.

5)     Collaborative partnerships in Oxfordshire between health and social care in the areas of learning disability (intellectual disability), rehabilitation of older people; community (salaried) dental service. Walk in clinics before the PCT axed them!

6)      North Lancashire CCG is pioneering a self care project to try and change Health Professionals and patients attitudes to this. It is a supertanker to turn round but can be done. If Labour grasp this one they could be streets ahead on this issue.

 What kind of service do we want to see for carers and families are there any examples of local services that are working well?

  1. We don’t think there is perfection anywhere. The key principle is to create channels of communication and the opportunity to challenge what the services do – the major improvements in our experience have all come about as a result of this. Some of this can be mandated via policy but a lot comes from local commitment and hard work – easier if there is an enabling policy context.
  2. There are far too many stories of carers of people with learning difficulties or dementia being completely ignored by hospital services