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Engaging with Lewisham residents about the NHS Long Term Plan​

Lewisham - borough event 16 July.jpg

In January, the NHS set out its plans for the next 10 years across the whole of England.

Our Healthier South East London (OHSEL) supported by local CCGs engagement teams delivered a series of events in SEL to understand how we can improve our services and make a healthier south east London.

The engagement 'Help us to shape the future of the NHS in South East London' focused on six specific areas, from how we work with charities to improving access to care. It was carried out on behalf of the CCG and with the CCG.

Twelve public engagements events were held across the six boroughs focusing on both borough-wide discussions and specific topics that are important to the future of the NHS in south east London. Participants have received the reports of the engagement events and the SEL Integrated Care System is currently finalising its response to the NHS Long Term Plan.

Engagement in Lewisham

In Lewisham the events were held on the 16 July in Laurence Centre:

1. Topic specific – Getting the best start in life. 16 July 12-2pm

The event had opening perspectives from Vicky Scott (Chief Operating Officer at OHSEL), who introduced the aims to improve the health of individuals in SEL through creating a sustainable future for NHS services, and Martin Wilkinson who spoke about the importance of prevention and building integrated services for children with long term conditions such as diabetes and asthma.

Reflecting on these messages, attendees concluded some of the key challenges we face in helping children to get the best start in life include:

  • a lack of understanding who is responsible for children's services - the NHS, schools or local authorities
  • a lack of support for families and carers.

Attendees felt that we should focus on a holistic, whole-child approach when trying to improve health, which means understanding the impact of housing, the social environment and poverty.

Here is the summary for getting the best start in life.

2. Borough-wide discussion, 16 July 5-7.30pm

This public event in Lewisham was held to discuss how we can improve our services and make our community healthier. It was attended by 43 residents, who heard introductions from:

  • Faruk Majid, GP and Chair of Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Folake Segun, Director of Healthwatch Lewisham
  • Tom Brown, Director of Adult Social Services, Lewisham Council
  • Catherine Mbema Director of Public Health

They discussed the NHS Long Term Plan, and its impact on the community and the wider public sector. There was a range of discussions about health and services in Lewisham. The attendees:

  • were pleased we are focussing on getting services to work better together, but they had concerns about changes to CCG structures
  • had questions about whether there is enough funding and time to achieve all the plans

Find our Lewisham summary here

3. Lewisham NHS LTP outreach activities

To gain a wide range of perspectives a series of conversations with Lewisham seldom heard community groups were held during July.

  • 12 July  BME Mental Health Carers Forum
  • 19 July  Asian Elderly Group at the Calasbash Centre
  • 25 July  BME Lewisham Network
  • 30 July  Lewisham Mental Health Carers Forum

What we have learned across south east London?

We asked people what they thought about the main priorities in the NHS Long Term Plan. Here are the five key themes we heard:

1. You liked that there is and will be more joined-up working between different services.

2. You liked that the public is being involved in south east London's response to the NHS Long Term Plan.

3. You are concerned about whether there is enough funding available to deliver these changes.

4. You are concerned about whether there are enough healthcare professionals in the workforce to deliver these changes.

5. You are concerned that the NHS isn't making the most of the resources that exist already, especially organisations in the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector.

The full summary can be found here