‘The NHS faces big problems’
We all know that there are changes going on in the NHS at the moment.
Many of us probably do not really understand what they are all about, and have probably only just caught up with the last set of changes.
The Star has kindly given me space for a column where I can explain what is happening and, more importantly, what it means for you.
The NHS faces big problems.
The population is getting older, and older people usually need more health care, however well they look after themselves.
New research in medicine means new drugs and treatments are discovered, and these are usually expensive to develop and produce.
It’s good that we are living longer and treatment is getting better, but it has to be paid for.
At the same time the money available to pay for the NHS is limited.
So we have got to organise the resources we have better, to get more value for our money.
That is essentially what the new reforms are about.
Whatever government is in power has got to face these facts.
More decisions will be made locally too, and that is where you come in.
The NHS is no longer what it was like when Aneurin Bevan said “The sound of a dropped bedpan in Tredegar will echo through Whitehall.”
Much more is now decided locally.
Many changes will have to be made, and I shall talk about some of them in future articles, but you need to be part of this.
Changing your lifestyle can contribute to better health and reduce your likelihood of dependency on the Health Service.
Sometimes we need help to do this.
People also need care and support when they leave hospital, and this will involve people in the community.
Most important, though, if changes have to be made, you need to know about them, understand them, and ensure they are for the best.
That is why the NHS must involve the public.
You may not be happy with some things that the government is doing, but making the health service closer to all of us is something we can all believe in and support.
In my next article I shall explain the different can become more involved in the NHS.
After all, it belongs to you.
David Taylor-Gooby is a lay member of the Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield commissioning group.
He writes in a personal capacity.
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Weather for Peterlee
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 12 C
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Wind direction: North
Temperature: 7 C to 16 C
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