What kinds of care will we need to provide for our growing population?
Don’t know if you are like me but sometimes I find it very difficult to get my head around numbers.
When you’re dealing with issues as important as the future of local NHS services, the danger is that the debate becomes swamped with statistics.
I’m not denying that we need to know what the facts are about how many babies are likely to be born in the South East Midlands or how many people in the area are likely to live into their nineties – and what that means in terms of the kind of care they will need.
But, sometimes it’s easy to forget that every percentage point represents real people with real needs.
I’m pleased that, since the start of the year, Healthier Together has come into direct contact with more than 9,000 people including NHS staff, patients and members of the public.
All of their views and local knowledge about what’s really important on the ground have been fed into the programme – helping to put real human flesh on statistical bones.
In addition, around 70,000 Healthier Together leaflets describing the need for change have been circulated in the area through surgeries, libraries and other public facilities.
It’s vital that we continue to make every effort to engage with local communities – particularly those people and groups who are rarely heard and harder to reach.
Remember – this is not a done deal. There are still plenty of opportunities for people to have their say and influence the future shape of our health services.
No hospitals will close. Northampton, Kettering, Milton Keynes, Luton & Dunstable and Bedford will all continue to provide most local services
All five hospitals will have an A&E and maternity service
Our first priority is safe, sustainable, high quality services
Our recommendations will be based on clinical evidence and local need