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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Cumbria patients air views with senior GPs

DOCTORS have delivered a “statement of intent” towards greater transparency with a public meeting.

Senior GPs from the Furness Locality Executive, part of NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group spoke with members of the public at the Lisdoonie Hotel in Abbey Road, Barrow, on Friday.

The meeting is intended to be the first in a series of public forums held every two months to enable patients to express concerns about NHS treatment first hand to clinicians.

Waiting times, the strain on Accident & Emergency services and the complexity of NHS structures were all issues raised by the public.

Dr Arabella Onslow, deputy lead GP for Furness, said: “This is a real statement of intent. This is not something we have taken lightly; this is the thing people in the NHS fear the most.”

Dr Onslow also said plans were in place to establish “Quality Circles” drawn from the community “with a mandate” to “educate” clinicians on policy.

She said: “I want this to work like a post box. Not everyone uses it all the time but they know what to do to post a letter. I want this to work so that if people have issues with the NHS they know where to go and what to do.”

Jane Madison, 68, from Barrow, came to the meeting concerned about difficulties getting a GP appointment.

She said: “I have not been to the GP in more than two years now because I can’t get an appointment. I would like to see a walk-in surgery in Barrow, and that would take some of the strain of A&E.”

Dave Waddington, 66, from Newbarns, is a governor at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

Mr Waddington said the length of time between diagnosis and specialist treatment was a concern.

He said: “We all want to see quick diagnosis and referral for specialist treatment, and that is not the case for a lot of people in Barrow,” he said.

Phil Woodford, communications manager at UHMBT, said: “I have picked up walking round that there is frustration at the complexity of the system. People don’t understand NHS jargon and we need to simplify things.”

Health campaigner Mandy Telford said: “I think this is a really great idea by Dr Onslow and UHMBT. It is rare that senior GPs get the chance to talk to normal people about what they want for the future of the service.”

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