PEOPLE will need to do more to look after their own health and be better at self care in the future, a local NHS chief executive has warned.
Sarah Dugan, head of Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust and chief accountable officer for plans to forge closer links with Herefordshire, says some tough decisions will have to be made.
“The NHS is facing many challenges, including rising demand for services, financial pressures and a shortage of key skills in some areas to deliver care in the way we do now,” she said.
“Because this is a big challenge, health and social care bodies in Worcestershire and Herefordshire are working together to find some answers.”
She said that agenda included how to reduce future demand for services by helping people live more healthily; finding out which services make the biggest difference and which need to be invested in; what can be done differently, and significantly, what needs to stop altogether because it is not a priority for improving health and wellbeing.
“We will need to do more to look after our own health and everybody will need to be better at self-care for the conditions we have or develop,” she said.
“Although this will mean making big changes and making some tough decisions, these will be necessary to ensure key services can continue to meet patient and population needs.
“This is not about merging organisations, it is about improving services and planning for the long term future.”
Her comments come after a leading county councillor warned the people of Redditch may look more to Birmingham for health care.
Coun Graham Vickery Lab, Redditch North) was speaking after it emerged that some services could be centralised between WAHT and Herefordshire raising the prospect of a 90 mile round trip for local residents for treatment at Hereford County Hospital.
“The whole basis of the current health trust is to keep it all together as without Redditch the economics of Worcester and Kidderminster will not stand up,” said Coun Vickery.
“Redditch though has the willingness of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham to develop the Alex – the problem is we have to make sacrifices for the rest of the county but there may come a time when local residents are simply not prepared to make that sacrifice.”