Fit for my future programme thanks public for giving their views

Fit for my Future, Somerset’s strategy for health and care services, has concluded its consultation on the future location of acute inpatient mental health services for adults of working age and the engagement on the early thinking about future community health and care services for people in Somerset on 12 April 2020.

Maria Heard, Programme Director for Fit for my Future, said:

“We’d like to thank everyone who has taken to time to give us their feedback, both offline and online. We’ve had lots of really interesting conversations with people across the county at our 70 engagement events, from drop in sessions at libraries to public meetings. Whether you spoke to us in person, wrote a letter or filled in our questionnaire, your views matter and will help shape the services we offer in Somerset in the future.”

The 12 week consultation, which began on 17 January, proposed to move adult inpatient mental health beds in Wells at the St Andrews Ward to Yeovil. The key reasons to collocate with another mental health ward in Yeovil was that additional support would be close by in an emergency, as well as closer to hospital emergency care if needed and provision of 24/7 medical cover.

The engagement focused on sharing our early thinking around community health and care services. This is about making sure people can access the right level of care for their needs within their local community, as close to home as practical. This will range from support to stay well, support to recover well or manage a long term condition, through to care and support at the end of life.

All the feedback received, including letters, emails, social media comments, questionnaires, focus groups and other formats will now go through a thorough independent review which will be published in due course.

Dr Alex Murray, Clinical Director for Fit for my Future and Somerset GP, said:

“Throughout our consultation and engagement we have met with individuals and groups across Somerset who given their time and worked with us to gather views from themselves and their local communities. Health and care providers, voluntary sector organisations and the local councils have helped raise awareness of the consultation and engagement and the questions being asked of our Somerset community, and we want to thank them for helping us, and everyone who has been involved.

Understanding what people think of their current health and care services, what they value, and what they would wish for, is invaluable and we will be taking all the views collected into consideration as we further develop the models of care and the next steps for Somerset over the coming months.”

The Fit for my Future programme will now be paused while the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group focuses their response to coronavirus.

Once resumed, the Governing Body of the CGG will use the consultation feedback to help make the final decision about the proposed location change of mental health beds in Wells.

The feedback received from the community health and care services engagement will be used to develop a number of ways that services could be delivered differently, and consult the public about potential options in the future.