Sounds like a Harrison Ford Movie. Actually it’s about the NHS in Consett and the rest of the North Durham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area. It’s their plan for our health.
There’s been a lot of criticism about changes to the NHS, some of which I certainly share in, but the one possible saving grace is the localised Clinical Commissioning Groups in which local doctors’ practices will take over the business of setting priorities and choosing much of the who, why, what, where and when of healthcare provision locally. That’s not all bad – they’re the people who know our medical needs best, and if it results in a truly “bottom up” approach we could all be the winners.
That’s why I was pleased to hear the North Durham CCG talking about a number of the things I’ve been banging on about for the last five years: the absence of intermediate care beds anywhere in the Derwentside area, the Urgent Care Centre, access to local clinical services and cancer, heart and dementia care to name just a few. I was also encouraged by the willingness to talk about community hospital/healthcare facilities in the area – Shotley Bridge & Chester-le-Street Community Hospitals and the Primary Care Centre in Stanley- because I think they all have a role to play; none more so that Shotley Bridge Hospital. Of course, talking is one thing – doing another – but unless we keep talking about these things which are so important to local people they risk being neglected.
There is a website for the North Durham CCG and I urge you to use it. Forget “Your M&S”. Far more importantly it’s “Our NHS”.