Partners meet to discuss NHS Long Term Plan

Health and care professionals were joined by council leaders and representatives from voluntary and community organisations to discuss health and care services for local people in north east London.

Organised by East London Health and Care Partnership, the event at The Old Town Hall Stratford on Thursday, 6 June provided an opportunity to influence how the NHS, local councils and other partners can work together to improve services offered at every stage of life – from birth to end of life. Nearly 200 guests were welcomed to Newham by the directly elected Mayor, Rokshana Fiaz.

Information stands gave partners the chance to network and discuss joint priorities with colleagues from eight local authorities, 12 NHS organisations and countless voluntary and community organisations. There were more than 20 local representatives from Healthwatch, the independent champion for people who use health and social care services.

There were also roundtable discussions on how the priorities outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan  – such as cancer, maternity and mental health care – could be best delivered by working together in partnership. This provided an opportunity for partners to make proposals and feed in ideas about how to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan locally.

Among the keynote speakers was Althea Bart from Healthwatch who reported back on what patients thought the NHS could do to improve local health and care services. Healthwatch has been out and about talking to patients and local people and the top three things they asked for was better access to GPs, good quality information and advice and responsive services that meet their needs.

In his address, Philip Glanville, the elected Mayor of Hackney and a member of the London Health Board, stressed the importance of continuing to build stronger partnerships between local authorities, the NHS and voluntary and community organisations as it is only by working together that the health and social care needs of local people can be met and challenges like inequality of access be addressed. A commitment was given to having a specific session on Social Care for a follow-up event that is planned for later in the year.

Developed in partnership with frontline health and care staff, patients and their families, the national Long Term Plan sets out how the NHS will improve the quality of patient care and health outcomes. For more information visit the NHS website. The NHS Long Term Plan has set some new aims and commitments and the discussions and ideas presented will be used to develop the local response.