Bury St Edmunds: Investment in health service in West Suffolk highlighted

Thursday, June 12, 2014
8:51 AM

Investments in health services in west Suffolk, including in the areas of mental health and young people, have been highlighted at a patient conference attended by hundreds of people.

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Yesterday, West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – which manages the budget for health services in the area – held its Patient Revolution Conference 2014 in Bury St Edmunds.

The event gave people the chance to provide health chiefs with feedback on local healthcare.

Yesterday, Ed Garratt, chief operating officer for the CCG, revealed where investment had been made following on from the issues raised at last year’s conference, which was attended by more than 200 people.

On improving technology, a telecare pilot scheme – an enhanced monitoring service for people with complex issues – is being launched in Sudbury and, to engage better with communities, market stall events have been held.

Urgent and emergency care had been raised as another big theme, Dr Garratt said, adding how the CCG had worked with West Suffolk Hospital in Bury to improve A&E waiting times and had also invested in the ambulance service.

On the early diagnosis of cancer, Dr Garratt said: “A recent survey showed west Suffolk GPs are in the top five nationally for early diagnosis of cancer which is a great achievement and reflects the quality of primary care we have in west Suffolk.”

Regarding services for young people, Sudbury GP Dr Rakesh Raja, CCG governing body member, said there will now be a dedicated service for young people with eating disorders in the west of the county starting next month.

He said: “It’s bad enough for a family to cope with eating disorder problems, the effect it has on the whole family, without being handed to a specialist unit outside of county.”

Others areas where the CCG has invested included primary mental health workers to support young people and a dedicated service for young patients with autism.

He said people’s feedback had also highlighted the importance of getting the right help for people with dementia, and in time.

In west Suffolk only 40% of patients who should have a diagnosis actually have a formal diagnosis, which the CCG wants to increase to 67% by 2015/16, Dr Raja said. “The only way we can do that is to invest in our services,” he said.

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