The Big Transformation – comment from Mike Wedgeworth

Photo of Mike WedgeworthMike Wedgeworth, Chairman of Healthwatch Lancashire, says:

“Following what’s happening to the National Health Service is like riding a bucking bronco: up in the air one minute and on the ground the next.

Junior doctors dismay one day; the next, good news about more investment in mental health. Hospitals facing huge deficits, missing targets, social care slashed on one side; government providing extra cash for new models of care, and promising more doctors and nurses on the other.

Is it crisis or cheer? Catastrophe or challenge?

And what on earth are those who use health and care services to make of it?

One of the tasks of Healthwatch Lancashire is to keep abreast of it all, and to communicate with the public in plain English what’s going on. More than that, we must feed back your views to those making the vital decisions.

The biggest is the Big Transformation Plan, which all branches of the health service are working feverishly on right now to be sent by June this year for approval by the Government. If Whitehall says “yes”, extra money for better health and care will come Lancashire’s way. It doesn’t bear thinking about if the Plan doesn’t come up to scratch and the answer is “no”.

The Plan must cover an area which is big enough to have impact, yet small enough to be recognisable by local people.

Thankfully, an umbrella body known as Healthier Lancashire, which brings all the key players together, has been beavering away to get ready for The Big Transformation Plan, both to agree what it should contain and how it can best be delivered. The area covered is to be Lancashire and South Cumbria, and within it there will be five divisions, covering Pennine, West, Central, Morecambe Bay and the Fylde Coast.

No pressure, but Healthier Lancashire, and everyone in it, simply must make it all work.”