Cornish residents to help shape the future of local Health and Social Care services

Cornish residents to help shape the future of local Health and Social Care services through survey being launched today!

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Cornwall Council and NHS Kernow are seeking the views of Cornwall’s residents to help them shape the future of the county’s health and social care services.

Today sees the launch of a joint survey asking people about their priorities for health and social care in Cornwall and ways they believe potential savings could be made to help health and social care budgets go further. The survey will be followed by a series of community events across Cornwall and Scilly.

Cornwall Council and NHS Kernow are working with the key health care providers to bring all the organisations responsible for health and social care services in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly closer together. The objective is to improve the health and wellbeing of residents by 2020 and provide seamless health services.

The Chairman of NHS Kernow, Dr Iain Chorlton, added: “We’ve identified what we think works now, and what could be better. We are working with the people who provide the services to develop options on how care and support can be provided in the future.

“The input of Cornwall’s residents will help us check that we’ve got this right, and ensure we are focussed on addressing the things that matter to local people.”

Last summer, the Prime Minister offered Cornwall the opportunity to have more local control over health and social care decisions, and budgets worth nearly £2 billion per year.

Liberal Democrat, Cllr Jeremy Rowe, Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “More local control over decisions and budgets that affect the health and wellbeing of Cornwall’s residents will enable us to have a bigger impact. It will allow us to better co-ordinate services to tackle some of the major challenges, supporting physical, mental and social wellbeing.

“The ambition of Cornwall’s health and wellbeing strategy is that people in Cornwall live longer, happier, healthier lives and good health and wellbeing will be everyone’s responsibility.”

Phil Confue, Chief Executive of Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, added: “This is the best opportunity in a generation to close the gap between physical and mental health care; putting mental health on a par with physical health will allow us to improve peoples’ lives and use our resources more effectively.”

Cornwall’s major health and wellbeing challenges include:

·         Life expectancy in Cornwall is 81 which is better than average for England. However healthy life expectancy is only 64 meaning people in Cornwall spend on average 17 years living in poor health.

·         The main causes of death are cancer, heart disease and stroke whereas the main causes of long term poor health are mental health problems and bone and joint conditions such as back pain and arthritis.

·         More than one in five of Cornwall and Scilly’s 545,000 residents are living with a long term condition.

·         Cornwall has a higher proportion of people aged 50 plus than the national average and that number is growing.

·         Nearly 1 in 4 children in Cornwall, aged under 19, are living in poverty.

·         The cost of providing health and social care is already exceeding the funding available for it and that funding gap will get worse as the number of people needing support increases.

·         With the second weakest economy in the UK, earnings in Cornwall were 19 percent below the national average in 2011.

Given the financial challenges and the pressures on our health and social care system, we must better prepare our services for the future using the resources available in the best way possible.

Healthwatch Cornwall, the independent organisation that represents people’s views on health and social care in the county, is working with Cornwall Council and NHS Kernow to ensure service providers and the public have the opportunity to have their say on how changes can be made.

Healthwatch Cornwall Chief Executive, Debbie Pritchard said: “It is essential that people input into this survey so they can influence decisions relating to the long-term delivery of their health and social care services, and their future needs can be met more effectively.”

People who want to help shape the future of Cornwall’s health and social care services, can complete the survey online from today by visiting www.cornwall.gov.uk/shapethefuture

Paper copies of the survey will be available in Cornwall Council Libraries, One Stop Shops, GP’s surgeries, and NHS hospital waiting rooms from the beginning of February. The survey closes at 9am on Monday 14  March.

Survey responses will be used to shape discussion at the community events to be held in March. They will also be used to help prioritise options selected for the final health and social care integration strategy to be submitted to the Department for Health later in the year.

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