|Tuesday, 03 July 2012 10:45|
Issued by Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group
Local health services were on the menu last week when around 50 patients, councillors, representatives from the voluntary sector and NHS staff sat down with GPs from Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group at a conversation cafe to discuss what can be done to encourage people to use local health services more appropriately.
Conversation cafés are a good way of getting people together to discuss local health matters in an informal setting where everyone has the opportunity to express their views and to listen to what others have to say.
Those attending the Hertsmere Cafe, held at Allum Lane Community Centre in Borehamwood, were asked to discuss and respond to the question "What measures could the new Clinical Commissioning Group consider that would help people to understand about Out of Hours, Urgent Care and other services for patients outside normal GP hours and how to encourage people to use them appropriately?"
Lively discussion resulted in a long list of ideas and suggestions including working with schools to educate young people from an early age; GPs including information about the GP out of hours service on their headed notepaper and providing information in a range of formats available from a number of places explaining exactly what each service does and when it should be used.
Dr Nicolas Small, Chair of Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group and a GP in Hertsmere said, "I am really pleased that the cafe was so well attended and that everyone appeared to be enjoying themselves whilst contributing to the discussion and listening to what others had to say in such a relaxed environment. We are collating all the comments, suggestions and views and will use them to form the basis of a plan that will help us to promote better use of the resources we have."
"Very well worth coming", "Good opportunity for ideas to be exchanged and good mix of experience", "Excellent mix of age and gender", "Great afternoon, thanks" and "It’s good to listen!" were just some of the comments made by delegates following the event.
Practice managers in Hertsmere also used the cafe as an opportunity to distribute copies of their new leaflet designed to raise awareness of the GP out of hours service that is available with their surgery is closed.
Sue Williams, Practice Manager at Schopwick Surgery in Elstree said, "Patients in Hertsmere are the lowest users of the GP out of hours service in Hertfordshire so GPs and practice managers wanted to do something to raise awareness of the service. We've produced a leaflet that is being distributed with Hertsmere News during the first couple of weeks in July. The leaflet explains what the service is all about, when to use it and the phone number 03000 333 333. People can also pick up a copy of the leaflet from their surgery."
For more information about Hertsmere's health services visit www.wheredoigo.org.uk.
Notes to editors: