The West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is keen to listen to patients and avoid repeating the mistakes of predecessor organistion the NHS Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT).
Tonight (Thursday, September 26) the CCG will unveil its Health Needs Assessment for Haverhill, a document outlining the health needs of the town compiled on public feedback following a consultation and series of forums earlier in the year.
The CCG’s chief operating officer Dr Ed Garratt said: “We came at this with an open mind knowing Haverhill is going to grow significantly in terms of population and there was a sense Haverhill has poor health, but the report shows mortality rates are lower than in many areas in the east of England.
“The main problems highlighted have been mental health issues, obesity and lifestyle, and alcohol related harm, and now we need to have a thorough look at the services available in Haverhill.
“A one-stop shop of services is definitely an idea to be discussed further and would have to be coordinated.
“With the town council we compiled a list of all the services available within Haverhill that there is so much, so there’s definitely an issue of communication, coordinating services better and recognise the barriers to accessing these services, be it information, transport, opening hours or whatever else.
“We don’t know what changes will be made but we want to develop solutions with the local public.
“It’s vital for us to gain public trust and show we can get things done and people we’ve approached have been positive and felt we’ve listened to them.
“This piece of work (the Health Needs Assessment) is unique at the moment in the east of England as no other town is having this focus and I’m delighted that we are going above and beyond for Haverhill.
“The key message is that we do this in partnership with the public rather than in the past where the walk-in centre was opened without much consultation or discussion then removed in the same way.
“We don’t want to behave like that.”
For updates on tonight’s unveiling follow @JackTappin on Twitter
For all the latest news see today’s (Thursday, September 26) Echo.
For a full report of the meeting see next Thursday’s (October 2) Echo.