A local NHS chief has thanked local residents for coming together and discussing how to improve people’s health in Southampton.
John Richards, Chief Executive Officer at NHS Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), summed up a successful community seminar and exhibition on 31 October, attended by local community groups and residents, by describing three priorities for the NHS and the local community: ambition, accountability and action.
The CCG, which plans and buys health services on behalf of the city’s population, held the event to discuss how the community could support GP practices and how the NHS, the council, businesses and arts could support communities to live healthily in Southampton.
People who attended the seminar were asked to make a pledge about what they could do to support the local NHS.
Pledges ranged from promising to share information about NHS services available for people to use in the city, eating more fruit and veg, and vowing to put more time in establishing a patient participation group at their local GP practice.
The seminar was preceded by a busy exhibition, which included stalls from community groups and major NHS providers in the city, including the trusts which run local hospitals in the city and those which provide community services.
John Richards called on residents to get more involved in the NHS and support the health of their community as he thanked over 150 people for attending a special evening seminar held at The Spark, in Southampton Solent University.
John Richards, Chief Executive of NHS Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
“It was one of the biggest NHS meetings we’ve held in Southampton.
“I was delighted to see so many new faces and have really interesting conversations with people who care about health in their community. We know people are very passionate about the NHS in Southampton, so it was great to see so many people getting involved and pledging to support the NHS as we tackle of the big health challenges in the city”.
John Richards encouraged attendees to join the CCG in tackling health inequalities in the city.
At present life expectancy is 8.4 years lower for men and 5.7 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of Southampton than in the least deprived areas.
He also welcomed the opportunity to explain that the CCG works on behalf of residents in Southampton and welcomes ideas on how it can help the local communities support themselves.
Finally, the CCG’s Chief Executive called on people to take action and get involved in the NHS in the city.
The CCG has a number of ways it uses the experiences of local people using health services in the city to help the organisation make improvements.
Ways for people to get involved can be found on the CCG’s website.
Often it is those people using the services who are best placed to identify where and how improvements could be made, so feedback received by the CCG may make things better not only for patient themselves, but also for their neighbours.
The event featured workshops led by local GPs, business leaders, arts groups and Cllr Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Communities at Southampton City Council.