Health services getting prepared for winter challenges

Health news.
Health news.

With the onset of winter fast approaching ways to for health services to prepare for an increase in demand were discussed by bosses.

Buckinghamshire’s Health and Wellbeing Board heard this month about the new ways the county’s health and social care services are working together to be fully prepared.

Information on how people can stay healthy over winter was also highlighted, along with details of a new web service, Health Help Now, which guides individuals to the best health service option for whatever illness or injury they may have.

Doctor Annet Gamell, chief clinical officer of Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group, addressed the meeting on behalf of the ‘strategic resilience group’, which is formed from all the different organisations responsible for providing NHS services and adult social care.

He said: “Planning for winter now looks at how our different health and social care services fit together. Making sure the whole system keeps flowing can be more important than what’s happening in one area: A&E is often the choke point that shows the system as a whole is becoming jammed in the winter, whereas in fact the busiest period for A&E is the summer.”

The Health and Wellbeing Board’s chairman is Martin Tett, leader of Buckinghamshire County Council.

He said: “Too often in the past the NHS and local councils’ services have just not worked together well enough.

“For example, this has meant that patients and residents could receive several visits from different teams and sometimes patients stayed in hospital too long. We have not always known what each other was doing.

“The Health and Wellbeing Board is a major change to the way we all operate. All the key people from the health service and local councils are around the same table planning what we do and how we will do it. The residents of Buckinghamshire have a right to expect good quality health and social care there for them when they need it. The Health and Wellbeing Board is a key step forward in making that happen.”