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Cambridgeshire HealthWatch publishes report on how you want extra NHS funding spent in our area

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People in Cambridgeshire want faster, easier access to GP services and clear information to help them manage their health.

These are some of the top findings in Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough's 'What Would You Do?' report published this week.

The asked residents 'What would you do to improve your local NHS'? as part of a project to help local health services plan for the future.

The NHS Long Term Plan, published earlier this year, set out priorities for health care in England over the next 10 years and how £20bn of extra funding will be spent.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough HealthWatch have published a report on what people want to see provided locally by the NHS. (14322577)
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough HealthWatch have published a report on what people want to see provided locally by the NHS. (14322577)

Now residents across the region have had a say on what those changes should look like in their community.

Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CEO Sandie Smith said: "'People know that local health and care services are facing big pressures with shortages of staff and money. They want to help and were willing and interested to share their experiences to shape future services.

"Whether about staying healthy or living with long-term conditions, people's ideas and preferences reveal some important principles about how they would like to see health and care services develop in the future."

More than 800 people from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough shared their views on how the extra funding could improve support from NHS services.

Three in every five people Healthwatch spoke to live with a long-term health condition or a disability.

People want faster, easier access to GP services to help them stay well. They want health and care that is more joined up, especially for people with one or more long-term health conditions.

They want services that meet their needs, often called 'person-centred'. They are interested in self-help and want more support to find information, and the right services to help them stay well. People told said they often struggled to find the information they needed to manage their health.

Travel and transport difficulties continue to be barriers to effective health care for people in the more rural areas of the county. People want care closer to home.

One patient said:"(I'd like to see) More support locally for treatment of my ME. I have to go all the way to Addenbrooke's for good support from their pain clinic. This exhausted me and the drive, which at times takes two hours, brings on my pains."

The watchdog also found a clear digital divide. Although many saw the opportunities of embracing technology – such as making online GP appointments – to manage their health, others felt they would be excluded by this.

The report will now be used to help the local NHS develop its own Long Term Plan for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.It will also be used to develop the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2019-24. This important document sets out how organisations will work together with the public to improve people's health, care and wellbeing across the region.

Click here to read the story online: http://www.healthwatchcambridgeshire.co.uk/news/what-would-you-do

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