WaGCG : Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group (WaGCG)

Column 8th March 2023

Aren't priorities for Health and Care obvious?

Out of 17 million people in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and West Berkshire, only 288 people responded to the consultation on the strategic priorities for health and care in the area.

The Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Partnership (BOB ICP) consulted on their strategic priorities for health and care earlier this year and have now published their findings.

They did try very hard to get people involved but although about 4,000 accessed the consultation, for some reason they didn’t submit a response.

The draft principles which they propose to use to guide the development of health and care services for the future are:

1. Preventing ill-health:
helping people stay well and independent, enjoying better health for longer.
helping to develop healthy places and thriving communities to protect and improve people’s health.

2. Tackling health inequalities:
seeking to improve the physical and mental health of those at risk of poorest health. This will include making sure people can access health and care services, whatever their background.

3. Providing person centred care:
working together to provide help in a way that meets people’s needs and helps them to make informed decisions and to be involved in their own health and care.

4. Supporting local delivery:
planning and designing support and services with local people and providing support as close as possible to where people live, learn and work.

5. Improving the join up between services: improving the way our services work together to ensure people get support where and when they need it and residents have a better experience of health and care services.

The majority of respondents agreed with these principles – it’s hard not to. This is what BOB is there for - to manage our health and care services. What else would their priorities be?

As some of the answers said “the principles did not recognise or address the existing problems such as inadequate staffing, access to GPs/primary care, lack of social care and bed blocking.”

Some also commented that “there needed to be an increased focus on staff, including pay, working conditions, wellbeing and training”.

People pointed out that the principles didn’t mention mental health, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, autism, dementia, carers, end of life care, dental services or optometry.

Respondents also said that the principles are unrealistic, too generic, and that a delivery plan was needed.

Perhaps the reason that people didn’t respond was that BOB was just stating the obvious.

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