A healthier Somerset fit for the future

Today, Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Somerset County Council announced a series of public drop-in sessions across the county to hear from local people about the kind of health and care service they’d like to see in the future.

Dr Rosie Benneyworth, clinical lead and director of the Fit for my Future programme, is hoping as many people as possible will visit the drop-ins to share their experience of health and care services, and what might be done to make them better in the future.

She said: “We really do want to hear what local people think. We all have a stake in health and care services and it’s important we all work together to shape the best fit for the future so come along to a drop-in event near you! I look forward to seeing lots of people over the coming weeks.”

Clinicians, commissioners of services and health and care professionals are working together to get a better understanding of how they can make best use of resources – money and people – to achieve the biggest possible impact on the health and quality of life of people in Somerset.

Dr Rosie Benneyworth says it’s a big challenge, but she believes everyone should be given the opportunity to liver healthier, independent lives for longer. She said: “Of course, money is tight. Neither health nor local government has a never-ending pot of funds, but we can make better use of what we do have. If the different parts of our health and care system work more closely together, I think we’ll see some big rewards.”

She continued: “Over the last two or three years people have told us they want to see care centred around communities, and agencies working together with the needs of the individual at the heart. A person’s own bed is the best bed, so keeping people in hospital for the shortest possible time or treating them earlier in the community so they don’t have to go there at all is better for them – it means there’s less risk of losing their independence and they’re close to family and friends.”

Supporting and encouraging people to stay well in the first place, preventing illness, is at the heart of the Fit for my Future programme.

Director of Public Health at Somerset County Council, Trudi Grant, has been closely scrutinising all the work so far to make sure every opportunity is taken to reinforce and support better health and wellbeing.

She said: “The way people live – smoking, alcohol, diet, exercise and social isolation – has a huge impact on their health and wellbeing. Across the health and care system we’re seeing services already struggling to meet demand. We know that by encouraging and helping people to stay healthy, we can extend and improve the quality of their lives. By reducing conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and low level mental health problems, we can make sure stretched resources in health and care services are there when people have more urgent needs.”

For more information about the programme or to see where your nearest drop-in event is taking place, please click http://www.fitformyfuture.org.uk,
(Note: The web site will be viewable to the public from 00.01 hrs on Tuesday 11 October 2018), email somersetccg.fitformyfuture@nhs.net or telephone 01935 384000.

ENDS

For more information, please contact Paul Courtney, NHS Communications Manager, Somerset CCG on 01935 385241 or email paul.courtney@nhs.net or Deborah Porter, Communications Manager at Somerset County Council on 079 766 98075 or email pressoffice@somerset.gov.uk .

NOTES TO EDITORS

Public ‘Fit For My Future’ events are taking place at the following 16 locations across Somerset:

• Berrow Village Hall, Burnham-on-Sea, Monday 15th October, 3pm – 6.30pm
• Great Bow Wharf, Langport, Wednesday 17th October, 10am- 2pm
• Basalm Centre, Wincanton, Tuesday 23rd October, 10am- 2pm
• Axbridge Town Hall, Axbridge, Thursday 25th October, 10am- 2pm
• Hub Nub, Frome, Monday 29th of October, 10am- 2pm
• The Arts Centre, Wellington, Tuesday 30th October , 12.30pm -4.30pm
• Ilminster Town Hall, Ilminster, Wednesday 31st October, 3.30pm – 7pm
• Victoria Park Community Centre, Bridgwater, Tuesday 6th November, 10am- 2pm
• Hen Hayes, Crewkerne, Wednesday 7th November, 4pm – 7pm
• The Guildhall , Chard, Monday 12th November, 12.00pm – 4pm
• Abermarle Centre, Taunton, Wednesday 14th November, 10am- 2pm
• Shape Mendip, Shepton Mallet, Thursday 15th November, 10am- 2pm
• Brushford Parish Hall, Dulverton, Tuesday 20th November, 3.30pm – 7.00pm
• Glastonbury Town Hall, Glastonbury, Wednesday 21st November, 10am- 2pm
• The Hub, Minehead, Monday 26th November, 1.30pm – 5.30pm
• Abbey Manor Community Centre, Yeovil, Tuesday 27th November, 1.30pm – 5.30pm

Attached are a ‘Fit For My Future’ poster and the supporting document called ‘The Case for Change’.

The Somerset health and care community includes:

Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group
Somerset County Council
Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust