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Access to NHS treatment in Shropshire should be 'easier'

By Lisa O'Brien | Health | Published:

Easier access to NHS treatment and services and more training for healthcare staff are among the top priorities people in the region would like to see to help them lead healthier lives.

More than 640 people across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin have shared their views on how to improve local NHS services.

In the top five were easier access to treatment and services; help with making lifestyle choices; better information about support available; improved communication around prevention and more training for healthcare staff on conditions such as mental health.

Their views were shared as part of Healthwatch Shropshire and Healthwatch Telford & Wrekin’s What Would You Do? campaign.

The campaign launched in March to encourage people in the region to share their views about how extra money from the Government should be spent on local NHS services.

The public were asked to give their views about how local services could improve, and to share ideas about how the NHS can help people live healthier lives and take more control of their care.

A new report published into the findings also revealed people in the county would like easier access to GP appointments, increased support and practical aids to help people stay in their homes for as long as possible, and better use of technology by the NHS.

Timely and consistent

There were also calls for improved appointment times and access to continued support for those with mental health conditions; the development of more joined-up services so all NHS staff have access to medical records and earlier diagnosis for people living with dementia.

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Lynn Cawley, chief officer at Healthwatch Shropshire, said: “The Government is investing an additional £20 billion a year in the NHS as part of the NHS long-term plan.

"We were asked to help find out what local people thought was the best way for the NHS in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin to invest in the right services as part of this plan.”

Paul Shirley, general manager at Healthwatch Telford & Wrekin, said: “We are grateful to all the people that took part in the surveys and focus groups.

"The groups that reported the poorest experiences of getting help were those people who had long-term conditions such as arthritis and diabetes, people with mental health difficulties and people with heart and lung disease.

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"The majority of respondents from these three groups also reported feeling that they had not received timely and consistent information about their condition from all services.

“However, people with cancer seemed to be the happiest with the communication that they had received.

"All this feedback is in our new report which has been presented to the Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP)."

The STP was created to bring local health and care leaders together to plan around the long-term needs of local communities.

What do you think about your local NHS services? Let us know in the comments section below.

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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