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Croydon residents want effective engagement on NHS changes

A big change in the way that the NHS plans its services is coming to Croydon, and local residents want effective engagement in the process, according a report by Healthwatch Croydon.

Healthwatch Croydon, the local champion for better health and social care, publishes a report today, based on a recent open forum on the forthcoming Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP). The event gained residents’ views of what the priorities for health services should be but also what the residents need to know to ensure the STP is a success. The report gives suggestions of changes to services but also asks questions about process taken and how effective consultation can take place.

The STP is the biggest change in the history of NHS, with all aspects of healthcare from hospitals and GPs to community and pharmacy services under review. Croydon’s STP is part of the wider South West London NHS which will plan services for six south west London boroughs. Croydon, as the largest borough in the group, has its own part of the plan. Please click here for more information on what STP is and how it will affect Croydon’s services.

With such significant changes planned, Croydon residents welcome more effective engagement on what is planned as the consultation process begins. This includes:

  • Responsibility: Residents want to understand who is responsible for leading and delivering different aspects of the plans.
  • Measures of success: Residents would like to understand the process of change and the measures being used, particularly around frameworks, quality standards, action plans and timescales.
  • Consultation: Residents would like to know who is being consulted and what the timetable for consultation is.
  • Role of Croydon Council and councillors: Residents would like to know how Croydon Council and Croydon councillors are involved in the decision-making, and how residents’ can discuss this with them.
  • Public access: Residents want to know how those meetings are being advertised, and how their comments will impact decisions.

In response to this, Healthwatch Croydon has produced Healthwatch Croydon and the Sustainability and Transformation Plan guidance showing how they plan to engage in terms of communication, participation, insight and co-design.

Jai Jayaraman, Healthwatch Croydon Interim Chief Executive said: “A major change to Croydon’s health services is coming and Croydon residents want to be effectively engaged in the process. Of course, this change is complex, but this only emphasises the need for good, clear information and robust engagement processes to ensure all communities have their voice heard.

“Healthwatch Croydon is committed to impartiality and representing the views of residents. We, therefore, have a crucial role to play to ensure this plan is consulted, planned and delivered in response to resident’s needs. We look forward to strengthening the engagement activity undertaken by NHS Croydon CCG and South West London NHS, and participating effectively together with them to gain the best results for residents.”