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Public's views to be heard on SHAs

PUBLISHED: 11:45 22 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:33 03 March 2010

PEOPLE are being asked to comment on new plans for the health service in Suffolk.

The plan is to create a new 'strategic health authority' to cover Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, as part of a national reorganisation which will see 95 health authorities in England - including Suffolk Health - abolished and replaced by about 30 SHAs by April 2002.

PEOPLE are being asked to comment on new plans for the health service in Suffolk.

The plan is to create a new 'strategic health authority' to cover Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, as part of a national reorganisation which will see 95 health authorities in England – including Suffolk Health - abolished and replaced by about 30 SHAs by April 2002.

The idea has yet to be approved by Parliament.

Many of Suffolk Health's current roles will be taken on by the new Primary Care Trusts which are being set up in the county, and are set to become the cornerstone of the NHS.

NHS regional offices will also be abolished and some of their roles will be taken on by the SHAs.

The issue, including granting Primary Care Groups status as trusts, will be discussed by Suffolk Health at its board meeting in Ipswich on Wednesday .

David White, chief executive of Suffolk Health, said: "The NHS is changing to put patients at the centre of its services. More responsibility is being devolved to frontline staff who are best placed to understand the needs and concerns of patients and what needs to be done to make services more effective.

"The organisational changes which are taking place seek to accelerate the emphasis on securing better local delivery of patient-centred care.

"Much of the work that Suffolk Health does currently, will pass to local PCTs. This means that the proposed Strategic Health Authority will have a very different role – to lead the strategic development of local health services in its area, and manage the performance of the PCTs and NHS trusts."

The Government is seeking people's views on whether they agree with the proposed boundaries for the new SHAs. It is holding public meetings across the region so people can make their views heard.

There will be a meeting on October 17 in the boardroom at Suffolk Health's offices in Foxhall Road, Ipswich, and another on October 31 in the committee room at West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds.

A decision about the new boundaries will be made after the consultations end on November 30.

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