The independent report looking at responses to the Healthcare for the Future consultation on services across west, north and east Cumbria has been published today (24 February). The report, from specialist consultation analysts The Campaign Company, provides an analysis of responses to potential changes to emergency and acute care, maternity and children’s services, stroke services, emergency surgery, trauma and orthopaedic services, and community hospital inpatient beds. The report looks at responses from well over 5,000 people who shared their views on the options for consultation either online, or by filling in the survey in the consultation document or by writing in by email or post. It also analyses feedback from thousands of other people that took part in public meetings and other consultation activities.
Following an extensive pre-consultation engagement period, the Healthcare for the Future consultation took place between 26 September 2016 and 19 December 2016. The 12-week consultation saw 17 public meetings, and a large number of stakeholder update sessions, deliberative events, workshops and specific events for seldom-heard (or hard-to-reach) groups. It also saw the return of the Healthwatch ‘chatty van’, which visited locations across west, north and east Cumbria to ensure those in isolated communities would be listened to, engaging with more than 3,600 people. A further 1,000 people also took part in a telephone survey conducted with a demographically-balanced segment of the population in west, north and east Cumbria.
The press release on the independent report can be read here. There is an executive summary which can be read here and the full independent report into the Healthcare for the Future public consultation responses can be found here .
What happens next? Health leaders from across the system and NHS Cumbria CCG’s Governing Body – who have already been considering public feedback from the consultation including any alternative proposals suggested by members of the public and community groups – will now review the findings of the report and consider these as part of its decision-making process.
The outcome of public consultation is an important factor in health service decision-making. It is one of a number of important factors. Others include clinical, financial and practical considerations. The results of public consultation do not represent a vote on, or a veto over, any form of change. NHS Cumbria Clinical Commission Group’s Governing Body will make a decision on the proposed services changes at its Governing Body meeting on 8 March. The meeting will be held in public at the Oval Centre in Workington. The decisions of the Governing Body will then be considered by Cumbria County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee.