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10th Dec, 2019

Prevention at the heart of new healthcare plan for the region

Laura Kearns 14th Nov, 2019

PREVENTION is at the heart of a new healthcare plan for the region.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Health and Care Partnership (CWHCP) – which is made up of local councils, hospitals, universities and Clinical Commissioning Groups – has admitted while its £267million cost-saving plan first published in 2016 helped streamline and improve services it had still not worked as well as hoped.

The CWHCP – which has undergone several name changes since its inception in 2016, but which is best known as the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) – has now created the Coventry and Warwickshire Strategic Five Year Health and Care Plan which identifies areas where further savings could be made and improvements made to people’s health.

A CWHCP spokeswoman said: “Since our previous plan was published, much has happened across Coventry and Warwickshire. We have begun to make improvements in care for the one million people we serve.

“We all acknowledge that when we published our previous plan the approach we took wasn’t the most beneficial. We have learnt from this experience and this time around have ensured that the plan we have developed is clinically led and locally owned.”

Bosses say the main focus will be on prevention which they aim to do by offering patients better support and advice.

Changes will be made to mental health services, which will be targeted through early intervention and encouraging people to be more aware of their own wellbeing.

No extra staff will be employed to carry out the newly drawn up plan but existing roles could be adapted. Plans are also underway to cut the number of agency workers employed.

The CWHCP says its vision is for residents to lead a healthy, independent and fulfilled life, and have access to effective and sustainable health and care services.

It aims to do this by tailoring its services to the needs of each population by dividing the region into four – Coventry, Rugby and north and south Warwickshire. These will be further split into populations of up to 50,000 focusing on community, mental health and social care.

To help pay for the plan existing health trust budgets will be merged.

But campaign group South Warwickshire Keep Our NHS Public remains unconvinced by the new plan.

Secretary Anna Pollert said: “The plan is a wish list which cannot be fulfilled without a massive increase in government spending on the NHS – but spending has plummeted. For instance, the plan emphasises sickness prevention with earlier intervention, but waiting times are increasing.

“Mental health, which the plan says is supposed to be more community based, is becoming less so.”

SWKONP has long called for greater transparency from the CWHCP, which held its first public meeting earlier this month.

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