NHS North Kirklees and NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have launched a conversation under the banner Talk health Kirklees designed to generate feedback about local healthcare priorities.
Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees Governing Body said; “We know that NHS services are improving and as a result, more and more people are living longer, which is really good news. But, we are also seeing increasing demand for NHS care alongside rising costs. This means we have to look at how we use our budget in a different way and take some tough decisions about what we can and cannot afford to do in the future”.
“Last year we started to talk about NHS priorities and many people supported the idea of reducing the number of prescriptions for paracetamol and other medicines that can be bought inexpensively in supermarkets. Money that is saved through changes like this can be spent on things that have more of an impact on people’s health.”
The CCGs are already delivering efficiency savings, for example, by transforming services and reducing duplication. However, they acknowledge that the scale of the current challenge means that more needs to be done.
Between Wednesday 12 October and Sunday 27 November the CCGs will be seeking views about the following proposals:
- Stopping the routine prescribing of products that are available in shops and pharmacies eg sun cream and multivitamins
- Stopping the routine prescribing of gluten-free foods
- Changing the criteria for individual funding requests
- Prescribing generic (un-branded) medicines rather than the more expensive branded products.
Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG Governing Body added; “The NHS budget is just the same as everyone’s household budget – we can only spend the money we have. When the bills get higher we have to tighten our belt and cannot always keep buying more services.
“What is happening in Kirklees is not unique. Everyone is aware that public services, including the NHS, are under pressure. We must focus our effort on ensuring tax payers receive value for money when confronting these difficult challenges. We want local people to be involved in the process and to share their views about priorities for healthcare.”
Talk health Kirklees will launch on Wednesday 12 October with a six-week consultation. This will be followed by further conversations as new proposals for change are developed. People can visit the website for more information and to complete an online survey.
For a hard copy of the consultation document and survey call 01924 504938 or email Amanjot.Aujla@northkirkleesccg.nhs.uk