The Future of our Local NHS and Care Services

Update: 14/03/17

The Shaping Our Future engagement report, which is based on feedback from local citizens between November 2016 and February 2017, has now been published.

The Shaping Our Future programme is a joint approach by all the major public sector health and care organisations in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly with three aims:

 *   Improve the health and wellbeing of the local population.
 *   Improve the quality of local health and care services.
 *   Deliver financial stability in the local health and care system.

A copy of this report is attached below. 

Update: 27/02/17

As the campaigning is well underway for the Cornwall Council elections in May, there is a great deal of misinformation being spread about our local NHS funding. I hope you find the document below, produced by the impartial and expert House of Commons Library, useful. It clearly demonstrates that Cornwall does get its fair share of funding now, in fact more than the England average. This was not always the case and I am proud of my work to secure this change. Of course money is important and I will continue to ensure the NHS is provided with the resources it needs, but spending it wisely is equally important.

Update 26/01/17

Winter is always a challenging period, and I want to thank all NHS staff and carers for their hard work and dedication. The NHS reported that, on the Tuesday after Christmas, it had its busiest day ever and that, earlier in December, it treated a record number of patients within four hours. Overall, A & E departments across the country are seeing 2,500 more patients within the four-hour standard every single day compared to 2010. The NHS made significant preparations for this winter, because winter is always a difficult time, including having 3,000 more nurses and 1,600 more doctors in full-time employment. Despite this effort nationally and locally, there remain problems we need to solve.

Having spent time in the A&E department at Treliske, shadowing the team there, I saw for myself the great job they are doing, often under considerable pressure. I also saw that many people who came along to A& E could have been cared for by their local pharmacist, Minor Injuries Department or GP. Despite the hard work of our local GPs, sometimes people wait too long to see their GPs. Sadly, the changes to the GP contract in 2004 resulted in 90% of GPs opting out of out-of-hours care. But we have been putting that right. Now 17 million people in England—about 30% of the population—have access to weekend and evening GP appointments. More than that, we have committed to a 14% real-terms increase in the GP budget by 2020. That is an extra £2.4 billion and that is expected to mean an extra 5,000 doctors working in general practice.

Ultimately, the issue of rising demand for NHS and care services is about demographic change and, as I have been saying for some time, more needs to be done to respond to that change. Over the decade to 2015, we saw a 31% increase in the number of people living to 85 and older. This is a cause for celebration, but sadly it is not matched by an increase in disease-free life expectancy. We know that when people of that age go to A&E at this time of year, there is an 80% chance that they will be admitted to hospital.

We also know that we will need to look after 1 million more over-65s in five years’ time and will need to continue to increase investment in the NHS and social care system. That is happening. But it's not just about spending more tax payers money. It is about making smart decisions about how the money is spent.

The truth is that, to solve this problem, we need not only to increase the number of people working in general practice, which is why we are funding the second biggest increase in the number of GPs in the NHS’s history, but also to increase the number of carers and the support for family carers. Ensuring we have enough good quality care services is the responsibility of Cornwall Council. Cornwall Council need to address this and they and our local NHS leadership urgently need to get on with joining up the care they provide. This is happening in other parts of the country. This would prevent the 'bed blocking' we experience in Cornwall with all its dreadful knock on consequences, including cancelled operations.

As the local NHS consults on their plans for improving our local NHS and care services, I will continue to encourage the implementation here of successful approaches which have been developed in other parts of the country, where the joining up of services has improved outcomes for local people.

Sadly, as we approach the local elections in May, there is a great deal of scaremongering about the future of the NHS and talking down the considerable achievements that have been made. So let me set the record straight. We have more patients being treated and more saying they have been treated safely and with dignity and respect.​

Next year the NHS will be 70 years old. I am determined to continue to ensure we have the safest, highest quality care anywhere in the world. When we have difficult winters and an ageing population, of course that makes things more challenging, but it also makes me more determined.

Update 21/12/16

In a letter sent by the Chief Executives/Chief Officers of the main NHS and local government bodies working on the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, I have been assured that they are increasing cooperation between themselves to ensure that the modernization plans for the region’s health services are as effective as possible.

The Chief Executives/Chief Officers will be meeting monthly to maximize cooperation between their organisations. I welcome this news and believe that it will be of great benefit to the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly STP.


Attachment Size
KCCG Funding Briefing.docx 279.33 KB
Shaping Our Future Report 1.51 MB